Thursday, 28 May 2020

Bus Drivers Take Advantage of Impunity To Talk On Cell Phone While Driving

The fine for using a cellular phone while behind the wheel is ¢103.000 colones. Photo Rafael Pacheco, La Nacion

TICO BULL by Rico – Driving and using a cellular phone is banned in Costa Rica, sanctioned by a ¢103,679 colones fine. But bus drivers in the country don’t seem to care much about this, talking on their cellular phone with impunity.

According to figures by the Policia de Transito (Traffic Police) in 2016, a total of 2,881 drivers received a ticket for using their cellular phone while behind the wheel.

Although the figures don’t reveal how many of the tickers were to bus drivers, the chief the traffic police, Mario Calderon, assures “there have been cases”, but did to provide details.

One of the main stumbling blocks in fining drivers – all drivers – is that a Transito (traffic official) has to witness the violation. That is, a Transito has to personally see a driver using his or her ceullar phone and pull over the driver and issue then a ticket.

- paying the bills -

When it comes to bus drivers, the police chief says, “what the user can do is call the bus company and file a complaint, we know that there are many reasonable and responsible companies.”

The idea here is that the bus companies regulate their own. But does it happen? What do you think?

Susana Lopez, deputy director and interim legal counsel for the Consejo de Transporte Publico (CTP), the division of the Ministry of Transport (MOPT) that regulates public services,including issuing concessions to bus operatos, recommends “users have an electronic mechanism (camera), maybe capture the action, make it public (publish on social media) and/or bring it to the attention of the (bus) company”.

According to Lopez, the user can also file an official complaint with the CTP and report the company (not necessarily the driver).

Now can you see that happening? Even you taking such action?

- paying the bills -

You are on the bus on your way to work or home, or shopping, whatever and you see your driver happily chatting – even worse – texting away, his or her eyes on the cell phone and not the road.

What do you do?

Like most, nothing. Maybe you give the driver a dirty look, or grumble something under your breath. But do you dare calling him or her (yes, there some women bus drivers) on it? It’s almost like complaining to your taxi driver for his (or her)…well you get the picture.

Lets be realistic, filing a complaint with the company and even the CTP means having physical evidence such as photos or videos, the bus and/or license plate number and the time, date and place of the violation.

At best, publishing the photo or video on social media like Facebook is perhaps the only real recourse a user has.

Luis Diego Gonzalez, spokesperson for the Cámara Nacional de Autobuseros (Canabús) – National Chamber of Bus Operators – told La Nacion the bus companies train their employees and prohibit the use of cellular phones while behind the wheel.

- paying the bills --

“It is not good to have a driver committing something prohibited by law. It is about the safety of users,” said Gonzalez.

Manuel Muñoz, spokesman for the company Lumaca (route between Cartago and San José), told La Nacion that at his company the complaints are few and explains, “in such a case the driver is called in and given first a verbal warning. If it happens again, other measures are taken”. He did not explain what the other measures were.

Muñoz added, “sometimes users do not know if the driver is on an emergency call or talking with his superiors.”

Do you see the logic behind that statement?

If a company knows talking on a cellular phone is against the law and even sanctions a driver if a complaint is received, why would they be calling or allowing a call from a driver?

Pura vida, mae.

Use the comment section below to tell your experience with bus drivers.

Article originally appeared on Tico Bull and is republished here with permission.

Rico
Ricohttp://www.theqmedia.com
"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Use of a mask is mandatory for bus and taxi drivers

The use of face masks or face shields is now mandatory...

MOPT recognizes that the vehicle restrictions is a business for the government

The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) recognizes that vehicle...

MOST READ

Daniel Ortega’s wife lashes out against Costa Rica

(QCOSTARICA) Without saying the name, Rosario Murillo, Nicaragua's vice-president and wife of the dictator Daniel Ortega, lashed out against Costa Rica. Speaking in the official...

How to Recover From Covid-19 at Home

From the New York Tiimes: Rest and fluids are essential, but not always enough. Getting infected with Covid-19 is a frightening, isolating experience. But as...

COVID-19 goes from respiratory disease to multisystemic

When you talk to doctors in intensive care units (ICUs) in the UK and other countries around the world who have been dealing with...

“I’m never going back to the United States again.”

When I heard her say these words, I was shocked. I shouldn’t have been, with our history, but having known her for over a...

Coronavirus in Costa Rica: 28 new cases, “main risk for the country is Nicaragua”;

(QCOSTARICA) Health Minister Daniel Salas had a clear message at the press conference on Wednesday: the main risk for Costa Rica is the situation...

Bishop of Alajuela confirmed total adherece to ‘Church Doctrine’ on equal marriage

(QCOSTARICA) “We have to be tolerant, we live in an open society. We live our faith, we deepen our faith; But we are glad...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Costa Rica and Latin America.

Article originally appeared on Tico Bull and is republished here with permission.