Costa Rica: New Traffic Law Takes Effect

In recent weeks, the Costa Rican blogosphere has continued to discuss, comment, and criticize the new Traffic Law, which went into effect the first week of March. Many have expressed their dissatisfaction with some of the items proposed in the new law.

Many do not agree with the stiffer financial penalties for those committing infraction of the new law. In addition, there were also not many reductions in penalties, as had been hoped. The increased fines will mean more money for the Ministry of Revenue, politicians, as well as for the traffic police. Nacho of Media Blog [es] writes:

Algunas de estas leyes son buenas. Pero la mayoría son puras estupideces que sirven para que los tráficos sean más corruptos y cobren para no hacer partes, y lo que cobran es plata para que los diputados anden en lujosos carros a cuestas de los pobres y no para los CALLEJONES que tenemos por calles.

Some of these laws are good. However, the majority are just plain stupid, and only serve so that the traffic cops are more corrupt and charge money for not giving tickets, and they charge money so that the congressional deputies can go around in luxury cars on the backs of the poor and not to be spent on the ALLEYS that we have for streets.
Photo by Carlos Luna and used under a Creative Commons license.

Photo by Carlos Luna and used under a Creative Commons license.

In addition, many drivers do not see how traffic cops can enforce the law, when they themselves violate traffic laws. The blogger at Conejitos Suicidas [es] published a video made by YouTube user Carlossave, who recorded himself following a police officer traveling at a high rate of speed.

Another area of concern with the new Traffic Law is that it has allowed an increased level of blood alcohol for drivers. Because now a drunk driver, who is first-timer, would not go to jail in the event that there are no injuries or property damage. Haroldo Rivas of Harol's Blog [es] writes:

Ayer los señores diputados (después de agarrarse a gritos como los más corrientes del mundo) acordaron que el conductor borracho que sea primerizo no verá nunca la cárcel por más macabros que sean los resultados de sus acciones, además de aumentar el límite de alcohol permitido en la sangre, porque como todos nosotros sabemos, lo hacen para protegerse ellos mismos que son algunos protagonistas de este mismo escenario. ¿Cuándo será que empezarán a trabajar con la seguridad del pueblo en mente y no con su comodidad o dinero? Shame on you…

Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen (after yelling at one another like the most common person in the world) agreed that the first-time drunk driver would not go to jail even for however macabre are their actions, in addition to increasing the blood-alcohol level allowed, they do so to protect themselves because they are the same protagonists in the same scenario. When will they begin to work with the people's safety in mind and for their own comfort or money? Shame on you…

Due to this uncertainty, the main questions from Costa Ricans are whether this law will work property in the country and whether its results will be a benefit for its citizens. Mae Moto of the blog Caballeros de la Luz [es] writes:

Pero la pregunta es, sirve realmente todo lo anterior (refiriéndose al artículo completo escrito en su blog sobre la nueva Ley de Transito: para mejorar la situación en nuestras saturadas carreteras? En mi humilde opinión esta reforma a la Ley de Tránsito es completamente una farsa, y una forma de sacarle el dinero a la clase media que siempre será el peor enemigo de la clase rica

But the question is, does it really serves the above (referring to the full paper written in his blog on the new Law on Traffic: to improve the situation on our saturated roads? In my humble opinion, this reform to the Traffic Act is completely a farce, and a way to get money from the middle class, who will always be the worst enemy of the rich class.

This confirms the insecurity and distrust that Costa Ricans have of the new laws created in our country, in this case the Traffic Law. As it has been the main topic of discussion of the various blogs of Costa Rica, it been good for people to have this space to express what they feel and want to say about the decisions that affect the citizens.


  • Thank you very much for the referral, I think that stronger laws would prevent more accidents. Unfortunately our leaders won’t think alike.

    I hope that at least, the increase in some of the faults would diminish the death and accident counts in our streets.


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