San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Proposal could restructure transit law, reduce traffic fines

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport (Mopt) is planning to reduce traffic fines through a reform of the country’s transit laws, according to the daily La Nación.

Transport Minister Francisco Jiménez told the paper that the proposals would bring the fines, which were created in 1993, to present day values.

For example, the most expensive fines are 316,000 ($629) for driving at 120 kilometers per hour or for driving with a blood-alcohol level between 0.50 and 0.75. The restructuring of the traffic laws would reduce these violations to 215,000 ($428) fines.

The lowest fine, vehicle restriction violations, would be reduced from 31.600 ($62.95) to 15,000 ($29).

Jiménez also said strong sanctions were being discussed for violations that put lives in danger.

The proposal discussed in the Legislative Assembly also would change the country’s license points system. Driver’s license have 50 points, and points can be lost due to traffic violations. Losing all 50 points would result in a driving privileges being revoked for two years.

Instead, the reform would implement a system that adds points. Drivers can endure up to 12 points before having their license suspended for two years. Not wearing a seat belt or running a red light would cost a driver three points. Speeding would result in a loss of four points.

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