One of the ‘must’ tools of a Transito (traffic officer) in Costa Rica is a tape measure, you know, that yellow flexible ruler and used to measure distance. Without it a Transito cannot do his job properly.
Typically the pate measure is used to prepare the “croxis” – a sketch of the traffic accident.
But, a video (see it below) that has been trending on the social networks, show a Transito taking our his measuring to check if a girl should use a child seat, which she wasn’t and would expose the driver to a ¢¢211.041 colones fine (plus costs) and four points.
The Transito was using his measure tape to measure the height of a girl. The video was recorded by a witness and posted online.
The current Ley de Transito (Traffic Act), establishes the obligation to restrain all children under 12 years of age or less than 145 cm (4.75 ft) in height in a carrier, chair, booster or booster with backing, depending on the age, size and weight of the child.
According to data from the Hospital de Niños (Children’s Hospital), Traumatology Unit, in San Jose, of all of the serious patients who enter the Children’s Hospital, half is directly related to events related to the actual traffic accidents, the other two important factors are collisions and overturns (flipping) of cars.
Alarming data from the Hospital, also show that if a child is thrown totally or partially, from the cabin during a collision only 75% are likely to live, and only 4% are likely to survive without physical or permanent neurological injury.
So, the next time you see a Transito pulling out his measuring tape and criticizing his or her actions at the scene, keep the foregoing in mind. And if you are a parent, please buckle up. I will be the back 40 the cost of the fine and points are nothing to the pain and suffering your child, you and your family will endure if not.