Published Thursday, November 19, 2020
16,000 drivers fined for wrong parking
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
Many drivers have parked in legal zones taking advantage of the fact that there are fewer vehicles on the streets, due to the ban-on-driving rule imposed by the government to try to contain the advancement of covid-19 in the country.
According to the statistics of the Ministry of Transportation, during this year, from January to October, approximately 16,092 drivers were fined for wrongful parking.
Among the main places where traffic officers find badly parked cars are blocking a home or building garages, on a sidewalk, near a hydrant, blocking ramps for people with disabilities, blocking street corners, on bicycle lanes, parking on yellow stripe zones or even on a pedestrian crossing.
The fine for unlawful parking is approximately $90. In case the driver is not close to the place at the time the officials apply the fine, the vehicle could be towed, according to the Traffic Law.
“Every time, there are more shopping centers with their parking facilities, many public parking lots, municipal parking lots, but some people don't want to spend a little money to pay for parking," Alberto Barquero, deputy director of the Traffic Police said.
According to Barquero, it seems that many drivers have not understood that the roads are for vehicle circulation and the vehicle must be parking in zones for that specific use.
Most drivers, when they receive a ticket for bad parking, argue that they were only parking for a few seconds, says the Traffic Police in its statement. However, the fine is made for incurring a fault, no matter how long the vehicle was wrongfully parked.
Recently authorities reported more than
1,300 drivers fined for talking on a handheld phone while driving.
report a 33% increase in fines for talking on a
handheld phone while driving.
According to the report, from January to
September, 1,376 drivers were fined for not using
a hands-free device and being caught driving while
talking on the phone, sending a text or holding
The number of fines exceeds by 442 the sanctions
for the same offense that were recorded last year,
even though there was no ban on driving
restrictions imposed by the government.
According to the Traffic Law, the fine for this
type of offense is approximately $185.
Police report other types of reckless behaviors
while driving, such as carrying a pet on the legs.
The Traffic Law does not indicate anything about
how pets should travel, but the law does clarify
that the driver must focus on driving. "Carrying a
pet on the legs is clearly a factor of distraction
and danger," German Marín Sandí, director of the
traffic police said.
One of the risks of carrying pets on laps is that
the animal could make unexpected movements such as
wanting to jump out the window, jump between the
seats, or any other sudden behavior, which can
cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
According to traffic officials, there have been
cases in which the animal falls on the pedals of
the vehicle and the driver cannot break or
accelerate causing fatal accidents.
Another of the fines that have increased is
driving without wearing a seatbelt or allowing
someone inside the car not to buckle up.
During the same period, from January to September,
5,137 more drivers were fined for this offense.
This is equivalent to a 15% increase over the
fines recorded last year, the traffic police said.
The fine for this type of
violation is also $185, according to the Traffic Law.
Some drivers claim that they thought that only
people in the front seats should wear a seat belt,
which is false, the police said.
Traffic police also reported that almost
60,000 drivers were fined for breaking the traffic
law such as having polarizing filters in windows,
vehicle modifications, not having paid the right
to drive tax known as Marchamo, among others. That
has caused 59,104 drivers to be fined this year.
The fines for non-serious offenses cost
Among the most common non-serious offenses on the
Traffic Law are:
• Modifications in the odometer (or odograph) that
records the kilometers driven by the vehicle since
its first day.
• Moving the steering wheel of the vehicle to
reinstall it on the right.
• Installing vehicle rims with sharp points.
• Modifying the cargo level to exceed the weight
of the vehicle allowed to transport.
• Driving with an expired license
• Not having paid the Marchamo.
• Not having the mandatory technical inspection
known as Riteve RTV up to date.
• Installing lighting objects on the windshield.
• Driving without lights on in the range of hours
from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
• Driving vehicles that have been declared a total
• Not having a complete emergency kit for the tire
• Not having the extra emergency tire.
• Not having a suitable fire extinguisher for the
type of vehicle, among many other fails.
The authorities make a call to the public to
denounce people who are breaking the Traffic Law.
Complaints can be made by calling the General
Directorate of Traffic Police at 2523-3300 or 911.
What is the fine for parking in illegal zones in your country? We would like to know your
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