(QCOSTARICA) The long arm of the Minister of Health reached out to a number of cyclists who decided to disobey the order not to ride in clusters.
At the beginning of the week, Dr. Daniel Salas, called on cyclists not to repeat what had occurred over the weekend, cyclists riding in groups and not respecting the recommendations of social distancing.
Minister Salas sternly warned that they would be fined. And this exactly what happened this Saturday morning to a group of cyclists who turned a deaf year to the Minister and were met by officers of the Fuerza Publica (national police).
On the Florencio del Castillo highway (San Jose – Cartago), a group of cyclists were stopped for circulating improperly,
The call from the Ministry of Health to the cyclists was clear, but some became deaf and the Traffic Police acted forcefully, in non-compliance with sanitary measures due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus COVID-19.
Although the fine was not for riding in clusters, the rules of traffic rule of no cyclists was enforced.
The Traffic Act (Ley de Transito) prohibits cycling on highways with speed of 80 km/h or greater, such as the Florencio del Castillo, the Prospero Fernandez and all other sections of the Ruta 27, the Circunvalacion (Ruta 39) and the General Cañas and Bernardo Soto (Ruta 1), among others.
“Indeed we have a control in Florencio del Castillo. This is a matter of always, it is a matter of traffic law. The circulation of bicycles has always been restricted on routes where the circulation of 80 km/ h or more is allowed. We are alarmed to see that circulation is increasing considerably in sections where it is restricted for speed reasons,” Alberto Barquero, deputy director of the Policia de Transito stated.
Cyclists who fail to comply with the measures are exposed to the seizure of the bicycle and a fine of more than ¢53,000 colones. Should authorities decided to apply a violation the Health restriction, the fine could be ¢450,000 colones.
Despite the tough words of the Minister of Health, a strong police presence on the highways, mainly to enforce the vehicular restrictions (today all even-numbered plates 0-2-4-6-8 are restricted from circulating between 5:00 am and 7:00 pm and all vehicles from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am), the Policia de Transito, Fuerza Publica and Ministry of Security report cyclists riding in groups on many of the highways and local roads.
On Monday, May 18, Minister Salas, was clear, ” you can go out pedaling, but with people who make up the same “social bubble”. If we persist in this type of activity of bicycle conglomerations, we are empowered to fine them with a base salary (¢450,000 colones) and I do not want to get there,” said the hierarch.