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Helmet Controversy  

by on Tuesday, 16 August 2011No Comment | 320 views

First time in Bali, you may feel that there is weirdness on the road. Why people have a strict obligation to wear helmet when riding in the meantime some ‘special’ people do not. My foreign friend who spent a couple of days in Bali last month even mentioned “Sorry if this is too rude, but don’t they have helmet or they are rule breakers?” while looking for some young men in traditional costumes riding motorbikes more than 40km/hour without helmet.

Actually, there is no clause in Indonesian regulation expressing an exception about wearing helmet. And even no clause in local regulation mentioning people who are in traditional costumes can ride motorcycles without helmet.

If it has nothing to do with Indonesian regulation then it must be related with Balinese convention. Do you have idea about Balinese costume in the past? More or less the same with today’s style. Most female wear brass head accessories while their hair is piled high and some of them choose ponytail. For the first style of course, it is impossible to wear helmet. Similar to female, when they should wear traditional costume male will complete their outfit by wearing Udeng, headband. So for them, it is no need to wear helmet. The policemen also very understand about that custom. This exception is also applied to other religion communities. Many Moslem do the same when they would like to go to the mosque.

Besides, Balinese people argue when people wearing traditional costumes means they would like to go to temple and pray. In this case, they are considered having good purpose. When people have good purpose it is predicted that they will not do something bad on the road just like speeding up which cause accidents. Also important to know that most of their temples are close.

Okay, must say that some Balinese think the opposite; that those two reasons are unacceptable. They claim that headband or head accessories can be worn at the temple; so why do they still not use helmet for their safety and other riders’ safety? These people even always wear helmet include when they would like to go to temple. It is clearly stated that for them helmet is a mandatory for sake of safety.

What do you think?

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