Guidelines for Indonesian Motorbike Drivers
A helpful, humorous and insightful look at riding motorcycles in Indonesia
- Buy a helmet, preferably one that covers your head and is made of a hard material.
- Wear your helmet, preferably on the top of your head.
- Since the police don’t care if you strap your helmet on, why bother.
- Your children do not need a helmet, as in an accident they will be thrown far away (along with your helmet).
- When passing a car on the same side that it is turning, be quick about it!
- Never carry more than 2 adults and 5 children.
- When entering an intersection, particularly with said 2 adults and 5 children, never look for cross traffic – it shows weakness.
- Never carry more than 5 big petrol or water bottles.
- Remember that those small petrol bottles capped with a rag that they sell in the small stores along the side of the road also make good Molotov cocktails.
- On some roads you will see a line painted down the middle – ignore it.
- If you put out your arm and wave your hand in a downward motion, you can do anything you want.
- Never put mirrors on your motorbike – people will expect you to use them.
- Driving at night with no lights makes it easier to sneak up on other drivers.
- Never carry a pole, pipe or bamboo longer than 10 meters.
- When driving on the wrong side of the street, try to avoid oncoming traffic.
- Never give the money to a policeman right away. They will get offended and think that you feel that they only care about the money.
- When driving on the sidewalk, try to avoid pedestrians and bunkus carts.
- Try to avoid the old ibu putting down offerings in the middle of the busy intersection (Bali).
- If you come upon a friend, pull along side of him in the middle of the road, slow down, and catch up on old times.
- When driving on the motorways in Jakarta try to avoid the guys selling cigarettes in the middle of the road.
- If you are driving on a Jakarta motorway during rush hour and going more than 10 kph, hang on for dear life, because you must be airborne.
- When weaving in and out of traffic, lean deep so you look good before you die.
- Never yield to other traffic – they won’t understand what you’re doing away.
- If someone stupidly yields to you, never acknowledge with a “thank you” wave. People will realize that you didn’t beat the guy out on your own.
- If you get into an accident with a bule, it is always their fault. If you can, fake the accident.
- When squeezing between 2 cars, always push their side mirrors back to give yourself more room.
- If you happen to get stuck behind a car that actually stops at a red light, keep the driver alert by beeping your horn before the light turns green.
- The best place to overtake other traffic is on the other side of the road when approaching the crest of a hill.
- One way roads? What are they?
- Red lights do not apply to you.
- When you come across an accident, stop in the middle of the road and look.
© Ken, Bugils