San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Citizens Propose Reform of Traffic Law

Frustrated with the length of time the current Traffic Law has sat in the Legislative Assembly awaiting reform, a number of influential organizations have joined together to present their own draft reform to the Public Works and Transport Ministry.

Calling the reform “urgent,” the group – which unites the Costa Rican Association of Engineers and Architects, the Ombudswoman’s Office, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute and the Association of Athletes Against Road Violence and Disrespect – claims its proposal can bring safety to the country’s roads and highways.

The proposal touches on four key points, including the design of roads and bike paths, education and prevention, and a points system and penalties consistent with serious violations such as speeding and drunken driving.

According to a statement released this week, the group consulted international laws and regulations in the process of drafting the proposal.

“(This) initiative recognizes that drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users are all responsible for safety on the roads, making it necessary that the Traffic Law be holistic,” read the statement. “The working proposal is intended to provide those responsible for implementing (traffic) policies … with a clear, modern and applicable law to ensure safety.”

The current version of the Traffic Law in the assembly is in a legislative committee, waiting to be addressed by the new Congress. Due to the failure of the former assembly to come to an agreement regarding penalties, a version of the law that contains fines widely viewed as unreasonably high went into effect in March.

To see the fines in the current Traffic Law, visit

–Chrissie Long

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