Wednesday 18 May 2022

Every 16 hours a person dies in a traffic accident in Costa Rica

"This is the worst in the last 21 years," said Alberto Barquero, director of the Traffic Police

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QCOSTARICA – As of April 20 of this year, there were 166 people killed in crashes, rollovers and hit-and-runs, the equivalent of one fatality every 16 hours, according to the Policia de Transito (Traffic Police).

The figures are alarming if one considers that 129 people died at the scene, 37 more victims this year, compared to the same period in 2021.

“These data are quite high and very worrying, we are returning to pre-pandemic scenarios because it seems that people were wanting to get out (of the house) and it is out of desperation that thus imprudences are committed,” said Alberto Barquero, director of the Traffic Police.

During Semana Santa there were 12 deaths on the roads, Photo Alonso Tenorio
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The Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) data reveals that since 2001 such high figures of road deaths had not been reported in the first quarter of the year.

In 2001, the report was 151 deaths in the first quarter of that year: 54 in January, 51 in February, and 46 in March, respectively.

In 2022, the number of deaths reported was 56 in January, 45 in February and 44 in March. Add the deaths in 20 days of April, 12 alone during Semana Santa, the total deaths due to road accidents this year is 166.

The figures only include deaths on the scene.

Barquero commented that despite the fact that the sanitary vehicle restrictions were not with the aim of road safety or reducing road deaths, they did have a positive downward effect.

As of April 20, there were 166 deaths on the road due to traffic accidents. Photo Francisco Barrantes.

“With fewer cars out there, the fewer people collide, so that obviously benefited road safety, I understand that while there was the vehicular restriction, medical care for accidents decreased and it is due to less traffic,” said Barquero.

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According to the MOPT report, speeding is one of the main determining factors in registered deaths.


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