Another stiff traffic law fine found disproportionate

The Sala IV constitutional court has found that the fine for not carrying a first aid kit and battery cables in a vehicles is disproportionate.

The court struck down the  108,180-colon fine. That’s about $216.

This was the section of the traffic law that sent every motorist scurrying to purchase one of those kits that contained a red triangle, cables, a collection of adhesive bandages and some other basic tools.

The court ruling was released Friday. The magistrates also said that the state did not have to  return any money paid as fines for violating the law, according to a summary provided by the Poder Judicial. There was no indication how many fines already had been collected..

The fine was one of a series instituted by the legislature. But the court said that the amount was not justified considering the socioeconomic condition of many Costa Ricans. The court did say that the idea was a good one to have motorists carry these implements.  The fine now reverts to what it was before the new traffic law received approval,

The high fine was part of the original traffic law rewrite that won approval in December 2007.

Many aspects of this law were called draconian, and the current legislature passed some changes.

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