Denpasar Department of Transportation says ‘thank you’ to foreigner shown in viral video conducting Bali traffic

A foreigner spotted conducting traffic in Bali. Still from viral Facebook footage via Agung Kresna

Denpasar’s Department of Transportation is thanking a foreigner who has earned viral fame for stepping in and directing traffic in Bali’s capital city.

In a video being shared like crazy across Bali social media over the past week, a foreigner can be seen in the middle of a crowded intersection, as he whistles and waves different drivers forward, keeping the flow going.

Uploaded to the Facebook account of Agung Kresna on Monday, the post has garnered over 290,000 views, since publishing time. 

“Get out of the way,” you can hear the man shouting, as he points his wand.

When contacted by Detik, Kresna claimed that the video was not originally recorded by himself, but that he sourced it from a Whatsapp group. The video, however, was clearly filmed around the Taman Pancing area of Pemogan, South Denpasar, according to Kresna.

With its narrow roads and location in Bali’s capital city, Taman Pancing, is notorious for thick traffic jams during rush hour and the foreigner isn’t the first pedestrian to turn into a conductor.

“The location was at Taman Pacing, Denpasar. The area is often crowded with vehicles. It’s clear that some local people there also take turns controlling traffic, bringing mini loudspeakers there, what a pity,” Kresna told Detik on Thursday.

The footage of the traffic conducting foreigner has inspired a response from from Denpasar City’s Department of Transportation, which claims they’ve got it covered and there was just a lapse of coverage the moment the man stepped in.

“The viral westerner reminds us to obey the rules. Here, before it went viral, the volume of vehicles was quite high. The handling of it from the beginning was to have personnel on in the busy hours, but yesterday when it went viral, police were busy with other departmental duties, security activities and religious ceremonies, so our personnel were rotating, so it became jammed. But we offer our gratitude to the westerner who conducted traffic,” Denpasar City Department of Transportation Traffic Control Officer Ketut Setiawan told Detik from the Taman Pancing on Thursday.

Setiawan said the viral video is a reminder to the public to be more obedient to traffic rules, because if no one obeys the rules, then traffic becomes clogged.

“This is our responsibility together. The main cause of the traffic jam, from the bypass towards the city center, from the direction of Kuta to Nusa Dua entering through Glogor Carik, is that people pass here to shorten the time,” Kresna said.

Meanwhile, Denpasar Police Insp. Putu Sudarsana says he’s also grateful for the concern and initiative shown by the westerner.

“Actually, we’ve had a traffic forum to discuss a solution here, but it just so happened that yesterday this westerner went viral, but it’s a sign he cares. Hopefully people here will care too,” he said. 

“In the short term, we will have someone posted to monitor traffic congestion. When it’s jammed, officers will actively conduct traffic. In the long term, the plan is for the bridge in the north to be expanded so that vehicles can turn and so that no cuts occur,” he said.

This actually isn’t even the first time that footage of a foreigner directing traffic in Bali has gone viral. In 2016, a foreigner–who appears to be a different man–was recorded keeping the flow going in Ubud.

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