Lawmakers hope to see draft of revised traffic law this week

Lawmakers studying the current traffic law have proposed 300 changes, including some in the 12 sections related to fines and penalties, according to a report from the Asamblea Legislative.

Lawmakers who took office May 1 inherited the controversial traffic law from the previous legislature, which tried in vain to make amendments to the law it had passed months earlier.

The committee studying the law hopes to have a draft ready this week and a substitute text of the law available before Christmas vacation.

The law has been accused of being too harsh with fines. A number of fines are 293,400 colons or about $587. Considering the violation, there could be multiple fines at a
single traffic stop or accident.

About 15 percent of the motorists have paid their fines. About 250,000 tickets have been issued since March when the full law went into effect.

Many motorists are expecting that the fines will be reduced, but they are coming to a point where they must pay the annual road tax, and to do so they must clear any traffic violations.

Enforcement has been spotty. Traffic police prefer roadblocks instead of stopping violators on the highway.

The Partido Acción Ciudadana said that it would agree to reduce some fines, but fines for reckless driving and drunk driving should remain high. Traffic police have confiscated so many vehicles from serious violators that there is no more room in impound yards.

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