QCOSTARICA – The presence of fewer vehicles on the roads due to the vehicle restriction could explain a significant increase in traffic fines for the first two months of this year and after a record number in 2020.
Last year, the number of tickets for speeding increased 65% compared to 2019, going from 3,294 fines to 5,434 in one year.
Meanwhile, for January and February of this year, the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT), reports 1,588 tickets issued, a 230% increase in the same period and 30% of the total in 2020.
In the first two months of 2020, Transitos (Traffic Officials) issued 485 speeding tickets.
The MOPT says it will continue to control this problem on the road, mainly as we come into Semana Sana (Easter Week) as people will want to make their trips in less time.
Alberto Barquero Espinoza, deputy director of the Traffic Police, declared his concern about this trend.
“Last year showed a strong increase compared to 2019 and at the beginning of 2021 the number of drivers caught in speeding abuse tripled, this alerts us to a situation of disobedience to the Traffic Law and basic principles of caring for people and respect to the life of others,” said Barquero.
The MOPT cited a case of alarm in 2021 with the arrest of a driver who was circulating at 150 kilometers per hour (km/h); a speed level that constitutes a criminal offense.
Breakdown of the numbers
According to MOPT records for January and February, 734 drivers were fined for traveling at more than 20 km/h over the speed limit. For the same period in 2020, there were 169. The traffic law allows going up 19 km/h over the posted speed limit.
Another 494 drivers were fined for speeding 30 km/h over the limit; 239 drivers dared to exceed the permitted speed by at least 40 km/h (in 2020 they were 132).
At more than 120 km/h (and less than 150 km/h) this year 107 drivers were stopped while in 2020 it was 50.
The sanctions for excessive speeding are:
- Speeding in excess of 20 km/h and less than 30 km/h of the posted limit: ¢54,805
- Speeding in excess of 30 km/h and less than 40 km/h of the posted limit: ¢110,729
- Speeding in excess of 40 km/h of the posted limit: ¢221,458 and four points on the driver’s license
- Driving at a speed in excess of 120 km/h (and less than 150 km/h): ¢327,713, six points on the driver’s license, mandatory one week driver education and 80% pass the exam or cannot renew their license
- Driving at a speed in excess of 150 km/h is a criminal offense that warrants a free ride to the nearest criminal courts
Finally, 14 drivers received a fine this first two months of 2020 driving in excess of the 25 km/ h in a school zone in the presence of students. In 2020, the number was 0.
Another concern for Transit authorities are the spike in “piques” (street drag racing), using straightaways to race two cars at a time on straightaways found in areas of Pavas, Rohrmoser, and many other areas and highways as the Ruta 27 and Florencio del Castillo.