With 42 votes in favor, legislators approved a bill that makes partial amendments to the Traffic Law, to fine for drivers related to incidents with the commuter train, such as disregarding the train’s right of way and points for crashing into the train.
Specifically, the amedment to the Ley de Transidto will now mean drivers can be fined ¢215,000 colones for disregarding a stop sign at a railway crossing or damaging a train level crossing (bar) or any other safety device installed at a train crossing.
The amount is the category B traffic fine established in the traffic law.
Obstructing passage of the train will cost ¢170,000 colones (a category C fine).
In addition, a driver that crashes into a train will have six points deducted from his or her drivers license, which means a mandatory attendance of ‘awareness and re-education classes’ when it comes time to renew their license.
With this amendment to the law, legislators are looking to develop a new culture in driving in Costa Rica, giving pedestrians and public transport, such as the train, priority.
According to data from the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles (Incofer) – the railway, in 2018 there were 91 crashes involving the the train; in Janaury of this year alone there were 10 incidents and 20 incidents with the recently erected railway crossings.