Eight people killed in Bali bus crash
Eight people killed in Bali bus crash

Eight people have died in Bali when a minibus collided into a truck, sparking warnings ahead of Indonesia's mass holiday migration in which hundreds are killed each year.

More than 40 million Indonesians are expected to be hitting the road, boarding planes and boats as they travel home in the lead-up to and during the Islamic religious holiday of Eid al-Fitr festival on June 25.

For those on the road it can be a dangerous, exhausting and emotionally fraying journey - with more than 360 deaths reported last year, and traffic queues with wait times of up to 20 hours.

On Saturday night a bus carrying 12 men who were travelling from Bali back to their homes in East Java for the holidays collided head-on with a truck - killing seven at the scene plus the 50-year-old driver of the minivan.

Three others have been seriously injured.

It's suspected the minibus driver could not control his vehicle due to fatigue, police said on Monday.

Transportation ministry spokesman, Julius Barata, said they were spending 90 billion rupiah ($A8,894,160) this year in a bid to tackle the number one killer - motorbikes.

"Each year, accidents are quite high. Seventy per cent of them are involving motorbikes."

Families of four, plus luggage, can be seen travelling on motorbikes with children rarely wearing helmets.

Although not designed to travel far, Mr Barata said motorbikes were "hard to resist" for many - as they are flexible, allow people to weave in and out of heavy traffic, cheap and provide a mode of transport around their village once they arrive.

"It also shows their social status there. It's like a proof. 'Hey, I'm successful now in the city'," he told AAP on Monday.

"They're also afraid that if they leave their motorbike behind it might get stolen. It is their fortune."

So the government is providing a "mudik gratis" or free ride for people and their motorbikes on trains and ships across the archipelago.

The government is hoping around 200,000 people with 45,000 motorbikes pick up the free service.


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