A permanent spot check point is at the Naranjo toll stations.
A spot check point is at the Naranjo toll stations.

COSTA RICA NEWS — The high death toll on the roads has forced the Policía de Tránsito (traffic police) to take a more proactive role, deploying a specialized team of 28 officials who will be working around the clock, with the objective of eradicating dangerous driving behaviours.

The Chief of the traffic police, Mario Calderón, explained that “operativos” (spotchecks) began last weekend, with more than 200 drivers ticketed and the seizure of a number of vehicles. A number of drivers were found with falsified documents (drivers license, registration permits, etc).

Calderón said the hope is that the increased police presence will discourage risky driver behaviour on the major routes, and in areas with high accident rates.

The focus will be mainly on the Ruta 32 (San José – Limón), the General Cañas (San José – airport), the Bernado Soto (airport – San Ramón), and the Florencio del Castillo (San José – Cartago).

This year to the end of October, a total of 294 people have died in traffic accidents. The total for all last year was 298. To go still are November and December, months with increased traffic fatalities due to vacationers and holiday celebrations that typically results in an increased number of drunk drivers on the raods.

In the weekend “operativos”, Calderón said speeding was the major source of tickets issued to drivers, one driver picked off at 111 km/h in a 80 km/h zone.

The fines for speeding are:

  • while driving under 120 km/h is ¢47.000 and no points if 20 km/h over of the posted limit, and ¢189.000 and four points is 40 km/h over the posted limit;
  • from 121 km/h to 149 km/h is ¢280.000 and six points;
  • driving at speeds of 150 km/h or over is a criminal offence, with a jail term of up to 3 years and a loss of all points, meaning a drivers license suspension of 2 years.

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