A few bits of advice for new drivers in Costa Rica

A newspaper staffer is at the point of obtaining her long-awaited driver’s license, so here is a baker’s dozen of rules for her that they don’t teach in traffic school:

1. Yellow paint on the curb is there to outline clearly a place for you to park.

2. Stopping in the middle of the traffic lane to chat with a pedestrian friend should not last longer than 20 minutes in peak hours. (Except as stated No. 3).

3. There is no time limit on stopping in the middle of a traffic lane to view store window displays or to dismount from the vehicle to do a little shopping.

4. When turning left from the right lane of a four-lane highway to make a left turn, courtesy dictates at least waving a handkerchief out the window.

5. Dashing to the head of a line of waiting vehicles is OK because you are more important.

6. The instant the light turns green, it is imperative to give a blast on the horn in traffic110315case other drivers are color blind.

7. Only taxis are allowed to have television sets with the screen in view of the driver. After all, other drivers have their smartphone or iPad.

8. Do not overpay traffic police. 10,000 colons is enough for nearly all violations.

9. Inspectors at driving tests only rate about 5,000 colons if you are not a Gringa.

10. It is so cute to make it look like your dog is doing the driving.

11. Fingernails should not be done at speeds more than 60 kph.

12. Never drink and drive. The glass may spill.

13. Traffic signals are suggestions.

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