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Costa Rica is known for its Pura Vida. The phrase is used for just about anything, from hello, to I am doing fine, to that is the way of things in this great country of ours.

Thus, the only term to apply to the delays in getting the traffic cameras operational is: Pura Vida.

A few years back the great minds at the Consejo de Seguridad Vial (Cosevi) – Road Safety Council – came up with a plan to place traffic cameras at strategic points to reduce speeding and thus carnage on our roads.

The cameras went up, after some Pura Vida, they started working and within weeks, Pura Vida, they were shut down for some legal reasons in the process of fining speeding drivers.

Pura Vida to the hundreds who paid their traffic camera speeding ticket on time and even more Pura Vida to the thousands who did things the Costa Rican way, don’t be the first to anything, especially pay traffic fines.

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Since, armed with the new Ley de Transito (traffic law) of October 2012, the Cosevi has been working on a new traffic camera program.

Having resolved the legal notification issue – the new traffic law requires every licensed driver to register an email for notification – a deal was struck with the state telecom, Radiográfica Costarricense (Racsa).

Under the agreement, Racsa would operate the camera system and notify speeding drivers. But, Pura Vida has kicked in and the for some reason the Cosevi board has not been able to sign the deal.

According to the Deputy Minister of Transport, Silvia Bolaños (formerly the director of the Cosevi), if the deal is not signed, it will have to go to public tender.

Bolaños says the delay is because of the resignation of former deputy minister, Rodrigo Rivera. Bolaños assures that the item – the Racsa deal – will be tabled at next week’s board meeting.

If and when the traffic cameras will be  operational, the roads that will be covered first are the:

  • Autopista General Cañas (from La Sabana to the airpot Juan Santamaría)
  • Autopista Florencio del Castillo (road to Cartago)
  • Circunvalacion
  • Radial Alajuela (from the Santamaría airport to the Mall Internacional

When the program is fully complete over the next four years, the system will include up to 150 cameras.

Pura Vida, Mae.