Effect of speeding fines on tourism brings call for reduction

The national tourism chamber and the rental car association are seeking a quick reduction in speed trap fines because they said the project is having a negative effect on tourism.

The Sala IV constitutional court has halted the collection of fines while appeals are pending. The bulk of the appeals say that the $600 speeding fines are disproportionate.

The Cámara Nacional de Turismo and the Asociación Costarricense de Auto Rentistas represent businesses that are
being hit by the fines. The fine is attached to the car, so some rental agencies are hiking the deposit they seek from
customers. The chamber said that its statistics say that about 30 percent of the tourists who visit Costa Rica rent cars. If the tourist leaves without paying the fine, the rental agency is stuck paying the bill. Even if the tourist is made to pay the $600 fine, the public relations effect is serious.

There are 24 rental car companies in the country resgistered with the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo.

Some appeals to the constitutional court challenge the method of assessing the fine against a vehicle instead of the person driving it. Companies with fleets of vehicles have a similar problem, but they at least can attach an employee’s pay.

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