San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Almost 1000 drivers receive fines for violating new restriction hours

Transit Police fined 998 drivers during the new extended restricted driving hours in San José on Monday, according to the daily La Nación. The fine will cost each driver ¢41.080 ($82).

Restrictions were extended to 13 hours from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., instead of just during rush hours. The changes in the restrictions were done to offset the rise in fuel costs. Carpools of three or more passengers are exempt from the fine between the hours of 6 a.m. to 8 a. m. and 4 p. m. to 7 p.m. The exception was made as a way to encourage drivers to share gas costs.

Drivers with restricted plates are prohibited from traveling in downtown San José and within the Circunvalación, a belt route around the city.

On Mondays, cars with license plates ending with a 1 or 2 cannot enter the restricted zone during the day. On Tuesdays, plates ending in 3 or 4 are banned, those ending with 5 or 6 are prohibited Wednesdays, 7 or 8 on Thursdays and 9 or 0 on Fridays.

Traffic Police chief César Quiróz told La Nación most drivers claimed they forgot about the new schedule. Others acknowledged they were simply trying to game the system and cross the restricted area undetected.

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