Between January 1 and October 31 this year, 36 drivers were fined for the “efecto mirón” (rubbernecking) in crashes on the Costa Rican roads.

This practice, also called “vinear” in Costa Rica, reproached by many and backed by others, is sanctioned under the Ley de Transito (Traffic Act) of 2012.

The legislation stipulates a fine of almost ¢23,000 colones for those drivers who get carried away by the temptations of the morbidity that supposes – of many – to observe the results of a collision.

Click here for the complete list of traffic fines in Costa Rica (in Spanish).
Click here to consult traffic tickers (in Spanish).

That penalty applies because drivers reduce speed and even brake, causing congestion and possibly even a crash.

“Stop causing congestion and, above all, stop recording videos or taking pictures of crashes, respect the pain and tragedy of other people,” said the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) – Ministry of Public Works and Transportation.

What the law says:

Article 111. — Slow transit. Slow transit vehicles are subject to the following regulations:

  • a) It is forbidden to travel at such a low speed that it hinders the free movement of traffic, except in the case of funeral vehicles, vehicles that participate in authorized parades or in cases where the conditions of the roads require, transit or visibility.
  • b) They must yield to the fastest vehicles.
  • c) When several slow transit vehicles circulate one behind the other, they must maintain sufficient space between them. In no case, this distance can be less than fifty meters (50 m), to allow other vehicles, to circulate at a higher speed, to perform the overflow maneuver safely and without mishaps.
  • d) On two-lane public roads for both directions, in which passing is unsafe due to traffic in the opposite direction or for other conditions, a slow, cargo or passenger vehicle behind which a queue of three or more is formed Vehicles must get out of the way in the places designated as sidings by means of the vertical signaling, to allow the vehicles that are in the row to pass smoothly.

Other similar fines issued so far this year (to September 18):

  • Having a license plate in a place that does not apply: 370 sanctioned drivers.
  • Lowering speed to observe an accident: 34 sanctioned drivers.
  • Megaphone advertising (Perifoneo) out of hours: 5 drivers fined.
  • Use the horn or sound equipment in front of schools and hospitals: 11 sanctioned drivers.
  • Vehicles towing others without tow trucks: 39 drivers sanctioned.
  • Cyclists riding on sidewalks: 12 cyclists fined.
  • Stop on horizontal signaling: 171 drivers fined.
  • Use the horn to rush the driver ahead: 15 sanctioned drivers.
  • Use of sound signals without justification: 16 drivers sanctioned.
  • Not prioritizing pedestrians: 267 drivers sanctioned.
  • Crashing vehicles against houses: 12 drivers fined.
  • Evade toll payment: 221 sanctioned drivers.
  • Use of skateboard in the street: 32 people sanctioned.
  • Jaywalking: 8 sanctioned pedestrians.
  • Parking in preferential (handicapped) spaces: 214 sanctioned drivers.