Thursday is last day to appeal first batch of camera traffic fines

Thursday is the last day that motorists can present appeals if they are among the first batch of owners of vehicles caught speeding by the new radar controlled cameras.

The Consejo de Seguridad Vial, said that 2,375 persons had appeals as of Tuesday. The deadline is based on the second publication of the list of speeders in the la Gaceta official newspaper. That was Sept. 30.

Meanwhile there are at least two dozen constitutional court cases that have been filed. Among these are complaints that there is not notification by the Consejo of persons who are to be fined.

Those whose vehicles were pictured speeding in Cartago, Alajuela or San José can appeal the fine at the relevant office of the Consejo. They also can go to the Heredia office. Those who live outside the metro area but whose vehicles were pictured speeding here can appeal at offices in Liberia, Pérez Zeledón, San Ramón, Puntarenas or any office that is nearest.

Those who do appeal do not need a special form, just a letter
stating why they should not be fined. One reason for appeal is if the owner was not driving the vehicle, the Consejo said.

The fines are so steep that banks are offering payment plans to motorists. Although there is talk of lowering the fines, the penalty for exceeding the speed limit by 20 kph (12.4 mph) is 237,104 colons (about $460). Motorists caught speeding more than 120 kph (74.4 mph) are faced with a 316,138 fine (about $615). Over 150 kph (93 mph) and the penalty is jail.

The amount of the fines are in the law, so any reduction would have to be by legislative action.

The Consejo said it would follow what the legislature says.

Telephone numbers for places where the ticket can be appealed are San José: 2010-4619, 2010-4620, 2010-4621, 2010-4622, 2010-4623; Heredia 2263-2912 (the Delegación de Tránsito); Puntarenas 2663-8734 (the Delegación de Tránsito); Alajuela 2441-7411 (the Delegación de Tránsito); Guápiles 2710-4257 (the Delegación de Tránsito); Limón 2797-1734; Cartago (the Delegación de Tránsito); Pérez Zeledón 2010-4696; San Ramón 2445-5985 (the Delegación de Tránsito); Osa 2788-8394, ext. 125 (the municipalidad), and Liberia 2665-6291.

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