San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Chinchilla asks Congress to reduce traffic camera fines

President Laura Chinchilla, while recuperating at home Monday after surgery for gallstones, asked Congress to accelerate adopting traffic law reforms, amid a wave of disgust by Costa Ricans over exorbitant fines established by current legislation.

Chinchilla met with Public Works and Transport Minister Francisco Jiménez and other administration officials, asking them to take steps to streamline the implementation of new traffic laws.

The discussion came as drivers grow more incensed over fines brought on by traffic cameras activated on major Costa Rican roads three weeks ago.
The minimum fine for those caught speeding by the cameras is approximately $600. Chinchilla said in a statement that she has asked Congress to consider adjusting the amount of each fine.

The goal of the government “is to strengthen and not to weaken the use of these mechanisms for the protection of the country’s highways, through a system of rational fines that are also responsive to the socio-economic parameters of our country.”

“That’s why since the beginning the current administration has suggested adjustments to the amount of fines being enforced today.”

The current traffic law was pushed through last year with the intention of reducing the mortality rate and number of traffic accidents in the country.
However, analysts say the sanctions are as high as those in countries like the United States or England.

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