QCOSTARICA – This is an odd one, an obscure rule of the roads that until now, well most likely few drivers know except for the 18 that got fined for breaking it: driving in reverse on a public road for more than 50 meters, a half block in Costa Rica style of measurements.
According to the Ley de Transito (Traffic Act), driving more than 50 meters in reverse is illegal and, in addition, it is dangerous, since someone, who is not so visible to the driver, could be run over in that driving position.
The Policia de Transito (Traffic Police) report issuing 18 tickers of ¢56,000 colones each to 18 drivers in the first two months of the year for this behavior and despite the fact that it is not so easy to detect such an infraction, taking into account that it must happen just at the moment that the traffic official (transito) is either at the scene or unluckily for the driver passing and observes it.
“We want to draw attention to some behaviors that are not habitual or that are committed or that we sanction, precisely, because they are not very common, but that can be dangerous, such as slowing down to see an accident and taking photos or videos, not giving way to pedestrians or not using the turn signals, to give a few examples,” said Alberto Barquero, deputy director of the Policia de Transito.
The deputy director explained that rubbernecking at a traffic crash is fined ¢24,000 colones, as the driver places him or herself at risk, other drivers and generates unnecessary congestion.
Not giving the right of way to pedestrians also costs ¢24,000 colones. Not using a turn signal can come with a ¢56,000 colones fine.
Drivers circulating without a bumper (front or back) or with a plastic instead of a windshield, side or rear window glass are exposed to a fine of ¢56,000 colones.
“We clearly understand that some vehicle owners are waiting for the replacement windshield, and they want to circulate while that happens, but it violates article 32 and other regulations, such as have the Marchamo, vehicle inspection, and license plate stickers on the windshield,” said German Marín, director of the Traffic Police.
Other items that can get you a ticket is not having a working horn, a speedometer that is not in kilometers. An example of this is vehicles imported from the United States. In such case, it must have the km/h reading in addition to the mp/h.
Another obscure rule is that the steering wheel can only be on the left or center. Right wheel driving vehicles are prohibited since 2012. An example of center wheel is the Piaggo or Tuk Tuk.