Thursday 17 June 2021

It’s Time For A Change In Dealing With Traffic Accidents With Fatalities

TICO BULL by Rico – It’s time Costa Rica’s traffic police and/or the OIJ is allowed to come out of the dark ages when it comes to responding to the scene of a traffic crash involving a fatality.

As it stands now a judge has to be present at the scene of an accident to order the removal of the body. Without this presence, the traffic police and investigators of the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ), must wait. And wait.

- Advertisement -

It doesn’t matter if traffic congestion occurs, even if the entire road infrastructure collapses. They must wait.

Two cases in point are the events of March 15 on the Autopista General Cañas  and February 23 on the Circunvalacion.

In the former, a driver lost control of his vehicle in the area of Cariari, crashing into the concrete abutment. The official time of the accident was 12:47 am.

I tuned into the morning 6 am news and there was, in front of me, live coverage of the accident. The body had been covered up with a white sheet, the traffic police, and OIJ investigators milling around, waiting…waiting…waiting. It wasn’t until minutes before 7 am when one lane of the Autopista was opened and the body removed.

- Advertisement -

By this time traffic had backed up. The lucky one who had gotten an update on the social media, Waze, Google Maps, avoided the Autopista. Many others not.

The latter, on the Circunvalacion, a young doctor, after losing control of his vehicle, shortly after 4 am, crashed onto a stationary tractor trailer. It was hours later that the road was reopened.

In both cases, the waiting aorund for the judge to be present at the scence casused considerbale traffic chaos to the already traffic nightmare of San Jose.

Months back, I was personally present at a similar scene, this time on the Costanera coming from Jaco. Moments before I arrived at the point as it goes up from the Tarcoles (crocodile) bridge, traffic had come to a standstill. You know something is terribly wrong when there is no traffic on the opposite lanes.

It was minutes after 4 pm. I got out the car, I was not driving that day, and walked the 500 meters to the scene. The bodies of two motorcyclists had just been covered up. It was at a point that traffic that cannot be diverted. All the Transitos (traffic police) could do is wait. Wait. Wait. The paramedics had left the scene, there was nothing more for them do do, the driver of the pickup truck involved in the accident was OK.

It was starting to get dark. The OIJ investigators had arrived. But there still was missing, the judge. It wasn’t until minutes before 8 pm that traffic was cleared to move.

- Advertisement -

These are not isolated incidents. Deaths on the roads of Costa Rica are daily.

And although I can respect the process that has been put in place sometime in the dark ages, a time when the police authorities like the Policia de Transito, Fuerza Publica and the OIJ, were nothing like the professional forces they are today, a time when they required a higher authority.

This is a topic that has been discussed over and over between the respective agencies and authorities, but nothing has changed.

Maybe now is the time that it does.

Transitos and/or the OIJ agents should be empowered to do the job that is now required to be done by a judge, that in the words of the OIJ director, Walter Espinoza,”is of little value”.


The speeding up of the process is in the “public interest”. It also alleviates anxiety, sorrow, and pain of the family of the victim(s) having to endure seeing their loved ones laid out on the road for hours on end.

At every scene of an accident, fatal or not, who arrives first? The first responsders like the paramedics and firefighters, followed by police (Transito and Fuerza Publica). If there is a fatality involved, the OIJ is called in. And the judge.

I can’t see the need for the latter.

Can you?

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Cynthia Ann Telles named new U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica

QCOSTARICA - Today, U.S. President Joe Biden announced his nomination of...

Simple to request certification of vaccines against covid-19 applied in Costa Rica and abroad

QCOSTARICA - The Ministry of Health issued a new guideline on...


Despite investigation, construction of road works by H. Solís will continue

QCOSTARICA - Five major road works under the responsibility of the H. Solís company will continue in development despite investigations for alleged corruption involving...

Immigration system failure affected passengers at the San Jose airport Monday

QCOSTARICA -  In yet another system-wide failure in the immigration check-out, passengers looking to leave Costa Rica Monday morning by way of the Juan...

Opinion: Peru’s electoral drama is damaging democracy

Q REPORTS (DW) In Peru, the left-wing village school teacher Pedro Castillo has in all probability been elected the new president. The fact that...

Plate rupture has potential for stronger quakes

QCOSTARICA - The 5.7-magnitude tremor, felt at 5:27 pmon Thursday, occurred in a maritime zone with the potential for stronger earthquakes, explained Ivonne Arroyo,...

Today’s Covid News: Contagion rate in Costa Rica remains unchanged in the last week

QCOSTARICA - The contagion rate of covid-19 in Costa Rica in the last week did not change, a fact that is seen for the...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 15: 3 & 4 CANNOT circulate

Today, Tuesday, June 15, vehicles with plates ending 3 & 4 CANNOT circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm,...

The U.S. and Democracy in Nicaragua

Q REPORTS (Council on Foreign Affairs) Democracy is being destroyed in Nicaragua. This has been the long-term project of Daniel Ortega, the country’s dictator,...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction: June 11, “EVENS”

Today, Friday, June 11, only EVENS can circulate. The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save for those under the...

Nicaragua government assures that detainees violated one of the Ten Commandments

TODAY NICARAGUA – The vice president of Nicaragua and First Lady, Rosario Murillo, assured that those who feel persecuted are for the crimes they...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.