COSTA RICA NEWS – We’ve all seen them, the signs on the side of the road promoting real estate, a new store or service, and even directions. The majority are without the permission of the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT).
According to the MOPT, each year it spends some ¢12 million colones to removes more than 700 illegal signs placed on public property of the national roads.
According to Vinicio Barboza, head of the Departamento de Inspección y Demoliciones at the MOPT, the majority are advertising and are a distraction to drivers.
“So far in 2014, we have taken down 250 signs in various parts of the country…including tourist areas like Jaco and Quepos where there is a proliferation of signs without permits,” said Barboza.
With respect to tourism related signs, in some cases there is specific authorization issued by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT), according to the official. Such signs include directions to tourist stops, gasoline stations, lodging, public phones and distances to service areas.
However, in many of the cases, there is an invasion of advertising signs on public space. Barboza says that the MOPT performs monthly inspections to determine if the road signs have the required permits and are within the regulatory framework required by the applicable law.