Lawmakers vote to tackle languishing traffic law changes

There may be some relief in sight for motorists who are snagged by the automatic cameras and face a $600 speeding fine.

The Asamblea Legislativa voted Wednesday to move the languishing traffic law up from near the bottom of the heap to the first position. That means that the law may come up for preliminary debate soon. Some lawmakers suggested that it may be approved by December.

This is the measure that seeks to revise the draconian law passed by the previous legislature. That set of lawmakers recognized immediately that they has put into force a measure that had fines that were too steep. They sought to make changes but their time in office ran out. The current legislature picked up the challenge, but they decided to study the issue from the beginning.

Danilo Cubero Corrales, head of the Movimiento Libertario legislators in the assembly, said that he wanted to see the law enacted to prevent the automatic renewal of the vehicle inspection program now run by Riteve SyC S.A. This is a topic that will come up for debate before the whole assembly.

Some claim the government has given Riteve a monopoly.

The proposal cuts in half fines for failing to wear a seatbelt, speeding and other violations. However, nothing is fixed and substantial changes still may be made.

Meanwhile, the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes has come out in defense of the $600 speeding fines. Some motorists have accumulated six or eight.

He also said that in a few days cameras would go into service on the highway to Alajuela Centro. That is the link from the downtown to the main highway. Cameras will catch speeders in both directions on the four-lane stretch.

The minister also noted that in the first nine months of the year, 234 persons died in traffic accidents and 61 percent of the crashes were attributed to speeding.

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