QCOSTARICA – During this month the Policia de Transito (traffic police) will be intensifying their efforts on the roads, with controls against speeding and drunk driving on the highways, for a safe holiday travel period.
One of the tools used to control speeding is the photo radar and system to query a driver’s driving record.
Driving in excess of 20 km/h over the posted speed limit is sanctioned with a ¢207.000 colones fine. Driving in excess of 150 km/h will land you in jail.
Other traffic violations in Costa Rica include:
- Not using seat belts (back seats too, though seldom checked!)
- Ignoring a red traffic light (also when you are in the middle of nowhere, except between 10pm and 5am)
- Talking on a cell phone while driving
- Driving without your driver’s license. If you are visiting Costa Rica, a current driver’s license from your home country is required, and you can only drive with a foreign driver’s license for period of your tourist visit up to 90 days.
- Child’s seats are required for children under 12 or smaller than 1.45 meters (4’9”)
- Driving on the beach is not allowed.
- Carrying excess passengers.
- San José has a vehicular restriction during weekdays, except on holidays, from 6am to 7pm. Restrictions are based on the last digit of the license plate: 1 & 2 Mondays, 3 & 4 Tuesdays, 5 & 6 Wednesdays, 7 & 8 Thursdays, 9 & 0 Fridays. Car rental vehicles are exempt, just show the traffic cop your rental agreement.
If you are renting a car (both for those having a Costa Rica drivers license or visitor) report the ticket to the car rental agency, show them your proof of payment, and avoid any surcharges or fines.
It is not recommended visitors to Costa Rica leaving the country without paying a traffic ticket.
Photos from Policias de Costa Rica Facebook page.