The Policía de Tránsito are beginning a program against speeders that is almost certainly headed for the Sala IV constitutional court. The program starts today.
The Ministerio de Obras Pública y Transportes have erected cameras with radar at five locations on major highways. These are supposed to detect and take photos of the license plates of vehicles that are speeding.
The fines are enormous. They range from more than 300,000 colons, nearly $600, to prison time, depending on the speed. Violators lose points, too.
A number of fines in the new traffic law are involved in appeals to the Sala IV constitutional court. One appeal was lodged at the end of last month by a motorist claiming that fines for parking incorrectly on a roadway and points deducted are disproportional.
Cameras are on the General Cañas highway between San José and Alajuela, the Circunvalación west of Zapote and
the Autopista Florencio de Castillo between San José and Cartago.
Motorists will be able to exceed the posted limit by 20 kilometers, some 12 miles, without getting an automatic ticket.
Officials also discovered that there is no law prohibiting plastic coverings on license plates that are designed to defeat the cameras. They are planning to introduce such a law, and chances are that motorists doing that will have trouble with their vehicle inspection.
Officials also admit that they will have trouble notifying violators, and said they might rely on publishing the license plate numbers in the La Gaceta official newspaper and another newspaper, probably La Nación. That provides fodder for another court appeal.
Basically, a machine will be bearing witness against a motorist who may not be visible who will be cited because of the license plate number who may not be notified but who will still have to pay a disproportional fine.