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Peru: Fines For Careless Pedestrians

As of November 15, Peruvian pedestrians can be fined if they break the Traffic Code. Depending on the seriousness of the infraction, the amount of the fine may vary between 18 to 108 new soles (approximately US$6.50 to US$38.50). At the moment of writing this post, a week after the code came into force, 3,985 Lima residents [es] have been fined. Almost 75% of them committed serious infractions.

In a country where pedestrians and drivers are notorious for not complying with traffic regulations, bloggers are expressing their feelings about this measure.

Image by Flickr user Martin Garcia, martintoy, used under an Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license

The group blog Perú es Babel [es] expresses the situation from the perspective of a pedestrian and includes the list of infractions and the amount of each fine:

Es cierto. Los peatones muchas veces son (más bien, somos) los culpables de los accidentes […]. Ahí está el mea culpa de este redactor que no tiene carro y toda su vida ha sido peatón pero, en tal condición, también es fácil darme cuenta de que la ciudad no está ni pensada ni hecha para peatones.

O sea, ahora resulta que no puedo cruzar por mitad de calle, por más que la cuadra sea larguísima y yo vaya exactamente al frente, ni más ni menos, aun cuando el propio municipio se haya tomado la molestia de construir un caminito a mita de la berma central para tal propósito, ya que se sabe que la esquina está muuuuuuchos metros más allá. ¡Claro! esto, si nos ponemos estrictos, ya es ilegal. Pero ¿y qué hago si no tengo un puente peatonal o paso subterráneo? De hecho en Lima hay muy pocos.

It's true. Most of the time, pedestrians are (or rather, we pedestrians are) the ones to blame for the accidents […]. There you have the mea culpa from this editor who doesn't own a car and has been a pedestrian his whole life, but as such, it's also easy for me to realize that the city isn't conceived nor thought nor made for pedestrians.

So, now it turns out that I can't cross at the middle of the block, no matter how long the block is and even though I'm going right in front of where I'm standing, nor less nor more, even though the city hall took the time to make a little path in the middle of the central shoulder with that intention, because it's well know that the corner is very far away. Right! if we are strict, that is illegal. But, what if I don't have any pedestrian bridges nor underground passages? In fact, in Lima there are very few of them.

Some days before this regulation came into force, blogger Diego Pajares [es] considered this as good news:

Una buena noticia. Desde el lunes 15 de noviembre, los policías de tránsito y de carretera tendrán la facultad de intervenir a los transeúntes que, deliberadamente, infrinjan las normas de tránsito. El anuncio ya se había hecho en agosto y hace unos días fue recordado por el ministro de Transportes y Comunicaciones, Enrique Cornejo Ramírez.

Good news. As of Monday November 15th, traffic and road police officers will be enabled to fine pedestrians who, on purpose, break transit regulations. The announcement had been already made in August, and some days ago it was remembered by the Minister of Transportation and Communications, Enrique Cornejo Ramírez.

From Lambayeque in northern Peru, blogger José Elías Zeña del Valle, from Del Valle para todos [es] has some recommendations:

Si usted es de las personas que cruza la pista por donde lo agarra la urgencia, que evita usar los puentes peatonales porque le da flojera o está apurado, que piensa que la luz roja del semáforo es solo para los carros, que es el dueño de la calle. Si va a cruzar la pista, mire a ambos lados, avance hasta la esquina y espere la luz verde.
If you are that kind of person who crosses the street wherever the urgency gets you, that avoids using pedestrian bridges because you can't be bothered or you are in a hurry, who thinks red lights are meant only for the cars, that you own the street. If you are about to cross the street, look both sides, walk to the corner and wait for the green light.

Blogger Buho from the blog 100pre informado [es] republishes some updates and important information:

La estadística señala que la infracción más cometida por los transeúntes es cruzar de forma intempestiva o temeraria la calzada sin respetar las señales de tránsito ni los semáforos, seguida de transitar cerca del sardinel o al borde de la pista.

En tercer lugar figura desobedecer las indicaciones del efectivo policial, y cruzar la calzada por delante de un vehículo detenido, por cualquier causa, cuando a éste no le asiste el derecho de paso.

Statistics show that the most common infraction from pedestrians is to cross the street untimely or recklessly, not observing the traffic signs and the lights, followed by walking too close to the kerb or the edge of the road.

In third place we have disobeying orders from the police officers, and crossing the street in front of a stopped vehicle, no matter what the cause is, when pedestrians don't have the right to cross.

Finally, Este blog es tuiio [es], by Juanktuiio, informs readers on the procedure:

En todos los casos, los Policías están obligados a detener momentáneamente a los peatones infractores, identificarlos y llenar la papeleta. Los menores de edad también están sujetos a estas sanciones

In each case, police officers have to momentarily detain the offenders, identify them and fill the ticket in. Minors can also be subject to these measures.

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