QCOSTARICA – A bill making its way through the legislative process will give the grossly understaffed Policia de Transito (traffic police) much-needed help, allowing officials of the Fuerza Publica (police) to issue tickets for traffic violations.

Pictured are oficials of the Fuerza Publica (police), The 'police' and 'traffic police' in Costa Rica are two separate and distinct police forces.
Pictured are officials of the Fuerza Publica (police). In Costa Rica, the ‘police’ and ‘traffic police’ are two separate and distinct police forces. The proposal would allow ‘police’ officials to issue traffic tickets, to give a hand to grossly understaffed “traffic police” force.

The initiative amend the Ley de Tránsito por Vías Públicas Terrestres y Seguridad Vial (Traffic Act) to establish a “coadyuvancia”, working together of the Fuerza Pública of the Ministerio de Seguridad Publica (MSP) and the Policía de Tránsito of the Ministerio de Obras Publicas y Transportes (MOPT).

Under the proposal, the police (Fuerza Publica) would serve in a complementary manner to the traffic police, to regulate traffic, issue tickets for traffic violations, respond to traffic accidents and perform traffic spot checks, among others.

To achieve this, the two ministries would coordinate the required training of officials.

On a smaller scale, some municipal police forces have added “traffic” functions to some of their officials. In isolated cases, like at the Pavas airport, for example, a small group of Fuerza Publica officials have been trained as traffic officials in addition to their police duties.