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Ley de tránsito – Results Day One

March 2nd, 2010

Typical of Costa Rica, news reports differ as to how went day one following implementation of the new ley de tránsito (traffic laws). One English language online stated that more than 300 fines were handed out in San José  alone. This was kinda amazing as the transit officers union stated in pretty clear terms that their membership would not be handing out tickets except for violations that could be dangerous to other drivers.

I normally only read La Nacion or some other Spanish language newspapers as they tend to get it right… and as I suspected, the information reported was not quite accurate.  The actual number of tickets was far less.  By 4 PM yesterday,  218 tickets had been handed out nationwide.

These tickets were for:

Using mobile phones without a hands free device or failure to use seat belts. (¢ 220,050  or $400.00)  (Yeah!!)

Driving in San José in violation of vehicle plate restrictions (¢ 29,340 –   $53.00)

Driving with polarized (darkened) rear window (¢ 117,360 – $213.00) and finally,

two people who were caught driving without a driver’s license (¢ 293,400 – $533.00 ) and whose cars were impounded on the spot. Wow!

Also, La Nacion staffers apparently did a bit of reconnoitering around the country and found that many transit officials had apparently not even been on duty, prompting the response “Promise Fulfilled” by Joselito Ureña, secretary of the Unión Nacional de Técnicos y Profesionales en Tránsito the transit officers union.  Interestingly…. Those officers did give out tickets  were officers who were working directly  under the supervision of Marin Germain, transit director aka the big cheese. Guess that confirms who is the real boss.

So the verdict?  None of the big cheeses (transit bosses nor the diputados) are thrilled about the officers not obeying orders and  handing out those tickets…  still it would be wise to keep your foot under control, not talk on your cell phone,  use your seat belts and generally be good little boys and girls!

5 Responses to “Ley de tránsito – Results Day One”

  1. Tony Grippo on March 3, 2010 4:20 am

    Good info Tim. Thanks.

  2. Jim Gaudet on March 3, 2010 7:22 am

    Agreed… I did like, however, how they mentioned that they would use this time to “teach” drivers about the new law..

  3. Tim on March 16, 2010 8:44 pm

    Hi Tim! I’m a Tim also! Visiting Costa Rica for the first time and got a speeding ticket yesterday for 220050 colones! The cop warned me a few times about how much it was going to be but not speaking spanish I thought I was just confusing some numbers! I’m a student and can’t afford a 500$ fine… and am considering skipping the country without paying. Am I stupid? should I pay it? Literally everybody else on the road was driving as fast as I was… Arg.

    Thanks for any advice!

  4. Hermosa Costa Rica on May 10, 2010 6:54 am

    I suppose it’s just like everywhere else, the police and the municipal government just need to make money. However, it just might improve the driving skills of drivers in Costa Rica, EVENTUALLY. And I emphasize,”eventually.”

  5. Tim on September 12, 2010 10:59 am

    While they are enforcing the law.. it appears it will be changed quite soon.