Monday 6 February 2023

Traffic fines see the highest increase in ten years

Historic gasoline prices in 2022 pushed inflation up and with it, the increase in sanctions; As of January 1, based on the interannual CPI, accumulated to last June (10.06%).

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QCOSTARICA – With the new year, drivers will pay a significant increase in traffic tickets, the most significant rise in the last ten years.

As of January 1, based on the interannual CPI, accumulated to last June (10.06%).

For example, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving over 120 kilometers per hour over the limit, or overtaking in curves, intersections, bridges and tunnels, in addition to making U-turns, are behaviors that will be punished with a fine of ¢367,000 colones, an increase of ¢34,000 in relation to last year.

Likewise, other offenses such as driving without a seat belt or not having a vehicle technical inspection (RTV) will have an increase of 10%, the sanctions are ¢124,000 and ¢61,000 respectively.

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In 2022, the increase was only 2% in all fines, while a year earlier the increase was less than 1%.

Violations such as carrying children without restraint devices in cars, according to size, weight and age, as well as carrying children under five years of age on a motorcycle, not respecting the red traffic light or the traffic signal, fines are ¢248,000, an increase of ¢23,000 over last year.

Driving with excess load, driving without regulatory lights, driving on sidewalks, not wearing a seat belt and for illegal transport of people, the fine rose from ¢112,000 to ¢124,000. Fines for not giving way to pedestrians, driving with an expired license and using special parking spaces without meeting the requirements, the fine is now ¢26,000, an increase of ¢3,000 over last year.

The steep increase is justified by the high inflation in 2022, triggered by historic gasoline prices.

The new fines apply to all violations committed after January 1.

The cost of late penalties and accruing interest on fines not paid within the specified time, not more than 10 business days from the date of the infraction and no appeal has been filed.  However, with the exception of type A fines, all others have a 15% discount for prompt payment.

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Carlos Rivas, legal director of the Consejo de Seguridad Vial (Cosevi), recommends that the best thing for drivers is to pay the fine as quickly as possible.

“It should be noted that some offenders take months or years to pay the fines, accumulating interest or appealing them, which suspends the collection, but if they don’t win, they must pay (…) On the other hand, with the exception of the type A fines, which are the highest, all the others have a discount for prompt payment of 15%, if they are paid within ten business days from the finalization of that infraction,” said Rivas.


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