San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Red means stop: San José officials to install 50 traffic cameras at intersections

Costa Rica’s Public Works and Transport Ministry in coming months will install 50 video cameras in the capital to record vehicles that disobey traffic signals.

Last year, 1,500 fines were issued to motorists blowing red lights. This year that number already exceeds 300.

According to officials, disobeying traffic signals is one of the main causes of traffic accidents in Costa Rica.

The fine for ignoring a red light is ₡189,000 ($378), as established by the new Traffic Law that entered into force last year.

The cameras will be fully operational by early 2014.

Fines will be sent by email to motorists who registered with the Roadway Safety Council (COSEVI), a mandatory process. COSEVI earlier granted a two-month extension for motorists to register for a DEV (Dirección Electrónica Vial), which is the only direct method COSEVI will use to inform vehicle owners about violations of the traffic law, rulings on appeals of fines or any other relevant issue.

COSEVI said that those who fail to submit a DEV by June 26 will be notified by a publication in the official newspaper La Gaceta. Unpaid fines will be charged when vehicle owners obtain a vehicle circulation permit, known as a marchamo.

To register a DEV, you must download and complete a form from COSEVI’s website ( Those who have a digital signature can submit the completed form

Printed forms can only be submitted to authorized offices of the Traffic Police, RITEVE (technical vehicle inspections), the Public Works and Transport Ministry or at COSEVI’s main facilities in La Uruca, northwest of San José.

“Motorists who do not provide an email address cannot argue that they were not aware [about a fine],” COSEVI stated in the press release. The requirement to provide the information is established in the new Traffic Law that took effect on Oct. 26, 2012.

Contact L. Arias at

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