Saturday 4 February 2023

Deputy Transport Minister Sees Difficulties In Enforcing Car Seat Law For School Buses

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The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) accepts that it will be difficult to enforce article 94 pf child seat law, that requires the use special car seats for children under 12.

The fine for drivers not complying with the law is ¢198.000 colones (US$355) and four points cut from their license.

Last Monday, the MOPT published measures that exclusdes buses and taxi, but not minibuses used to carry students.

Typical school bus in Costa Rica. Each vehicle must be clearly identified with a the yellow permanent marking "transporte de estudiantes".
Typical school bus in Costa Rica. Each vehicle must be clearly identified with a the yellow permanent marking “transporte de estudiantes”.
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Silvia Bolaños, deputy minister of Transport, acknowledges problems with enforcement of the law. According to Bolaños school vehicles should also be excluded, as they are considered public transport.

The deputy minister said on Friday that she will be consulting the Attorney General’s Office to clarigy the situation faced by owners and drivers of school vehicles with respect to the legislation.

Minor Castro, representanting the Transportes Privados Caritas Felices, that groups some 100 owners of minibuses used to transport students, said that lawyers are looking into “arguments” to challenge the law. “I don’t see the difference between a regular public transport bus and one that carries students”, said Castro.

Germán Marín , director of the Traffic Police, said that although there are some aspects of “logic” that make it impossible to use the car seats, his officers will continue to fine drivers found not in compliance. Marín also said spotchecks with attention to the school vehicles will continue/

“Despite the concerns (of the school vehicle operators), car seats reduce fatalities in accidents”, said Marín.

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