San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Traffic fines

Higher traffic fines take effect Jan. 1

Violations to Costa Rica’s Traffic Law will cost motorists an average of 1 percent more starting next month, after Costa Rica’s judicial branch approved increases of up to ₡3,126 ($5.75) according to the category of the fine.

The judicial branch’s superior council sets the increase in traffic fines every year based on variations in the Consumer Price Index, as reported by the National Statistics and Census Institute.

The Traffic Law classifies traffic fines into five categories from A to E, according to the severity of the violation.

Starting on Jan. 1 the highest traffic fine – for violations in the A category – will increase from ₡306,448 to ₡309,574 ($565-570). These fines include driving under the influence, exceeding the speed limit at 120 kilometers per hour or more, driving with an expired license, passing in a no-passing zone or making an illegal U-turn, among others.

Fines in category B will go up by ₡2,112 ($3.90) from ₡207,088 to ₡209,200 ($382-386) and will penalize drivers ignoring stop signs, traffic lights or altering license plates. Other infractions include transporting children under 12 without a child car seat and motorcyclists carrying children under 5.

Traffic fines in category C will increase by ₡1,056 ($1.95) from ₡103,544 to ₡104,600 ($191-193). This applies to motorcyclists not wearing reflective clothing and helmets, drivers carrying excess loads and incorrect use of roundabouts, among others.

Minor violations from categories D and E will increase by ₡522 and ₡224 ($0.96-0.41), respectively. The first will increase from ₡51,249 to ₡51,771 ($94.45-95.40) and the other from ₡21,963 to ₡22,187 ($40.50-40.90).

The new traffic fines will be published later this week in the official newspaper La Gaceta.

Contact L. Arias at larias@ticotimes.net

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