Motorcycles, cars, big trucks, anything that moves on the roads of the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) in less than optimal condition will be subject to a roadside inspection and fined is not complying with the minimum standards set by the Ministry of Transport.

The mobile units are operated by Riteve technicians

The Policia de Transito (Traffic Police) announced on Thursday that two new mobile units purchased by the Riteve vehicular inspection company will be part of its routine traffic controls on the main roads of the country.

The Ruta 32 (the road to Limon), the General Cañas and the Florencio de Castillo (San Jose to Cartago), was well ‘more populated’ cities (ie Pavas, Alajuelita, Desamparados) in the San Jose area.

The units and the inspection are controlled by Riteve technicians, while the transitos (officers) will in charge of picking off vehicles and issue fines if necessary.

“We provide the units, the technical personnel and all the maintenance they require to operate. The team is managed by Riteve employees, but they are under the order of Transito, they decide where we to monitor, what days, at what hours and what (vehicles) we are going to inspect, ” explained Riteve spokesperson Jennifer Hidalgo.

Transitos decide which vehicles will be inspected and for what, tires and emissions, for example and fine cars that vehicle the roadside inspection

The director of the Traffic Police, German Marín, pointed out that it is “very similar to what the officers do on the road every day. The signal to stop is made by the officer and the vehicle instructed to the mobile unit so that the revision is made, whether it is tire checking, ball joints, compensators, lights, to see that braking is adequate and emissions.”

Marín said that the initiative aims to reduce accidents caused due to the lack of the vehicular revision.

Daily thousands of vehicles circulate without having being inspected or not passed inspection. For some, it is the cost and time for the inspection, for many others, the cost of repairs.

“In 2017, 458 people died on the roads in Costa Rica, in 2018 we faced a decrease whit 445 deaths in traffic accidents. We consider that they are extremely high numbers. The idea is that by 2019 we will achieve the goal of reducing the accident rate of recent years,” said Marín.

The mobile units come with a price tag of US$100,000 dollars each.

Among the goals is to pick off some of the 123,000 vehicles that failed to go to Riteve (or failed the inspection and never reinspected) last year.

In addition, Hildago explains that “there are vehicles that pass the inspection but months later, due to manipulation or carelessness on the part of the owner, they would not pass the inspection.”

The ‘manipulation’ referred to by Hildago are “tricks” used by some vehicle owners to get the car passed the inspection. The tricks include messing with the fuel system to pass inspection and renting tires (yes, it is a real thing) just for the inspection.

According to Hidalgo, the roadside test takes about 20 minutes to complete, depending on what the traffic officials ask to be tested.