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jul 17

Soon I will be living in the comfort of our new home in Escazu and experiencing some of the finer pleasures of life such as hot water from a tank. Oh yeah, I can’t wait to have a shower that doesn’t require the constant adjustment of the pressure and temperature controls. Imagine. Doing an every day task as common as bathing oneself without the worry of being scorched one moment or drenched with cold water the next is a great way to start the day if I do say so.

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abr 23

Just when I think I´ve seen it all something new happens. Every time I get in the car to drive somewhere I witness traffic violations in San José. Last week I was waiting to enter the San Sebastian roundabout and I saw a guy beside me with not one cell phone, but two! One in each hand staring him in the face. I couldn´t believe it. Would the fine be double if a traffic cop were to see him?

The left hand turn at the stoplight in San Antonio heading into downtown Desamparados is one lane only because of the bridge over the river immediately afterwards. Anytime of the day one can witness not two turning lanes of traffic, but three lanes of traffic trying to make the left hand turn through the light. The intersection often resembles a parking lot at a sports stadium just after a game has finished. The other day I was coming from Desampa and witnessed this right in front of me. I saw several irrate drivers looking like they wanted to not only scream but also jump out of their cars on the spot and stand up to the nonsense. I haven´t seen anyone pull out a gun yet. Then again, I´m not from LA either.

Cars backing out of a parking space across two lanes of traffic into the far lane is not at all uncommon. They just put themselves in front of you. They assume you see them and will stop. Why is this? Probably because it goes without saying that nobody wants to get in an accident. Not because of the potential damage to the car, but the two or three hours it would take waiting for a traffic cop and insurance agent to appear on the seen and file reports. When you have an accident in Costa Rica, you cannot under any circumstances move the cars. It doesn´t matter if you are blocking all traffic or not. You must wait for the authorities to arrive on the scene. It would ruin anyone’s day, far more devasting than a two or three hundred dollar fender bender in any civilized country. Oops sorry for implying that driving on Costa Rican roads is not civilized, but it isn’t.

This morning, I witnessed an unassisted triple play. This occurrs when the driver of a vehicle commits three violations with one maneuver. I´m in downtown San José in the left hand lane on a one-way street. I´m stopped at a red light and see a sign in front of me on the left that says no left hand turn. What happend? A bus in the right hand lane, turned left on the red light. Three violations at once! A rare occurrence or not?

The other day I read an article in Al Día that implied that one out of every seven cars with voluntary (supplemental) insurance made a claim in the last year. Is it just me, or is this unusually high? This is only for people with voluntary insurance. I would think these people would respect the traffic law more than someone without it. There are 297.430 vehicles with voluntary insurance and of these, INS processed 42.813 claims.

There is a bill in process that the legislators are considering that would increase some traffic fines by up to 10 times what they are now. Many people with common sense are asking themselves what in the world is taking them so long to approve it? I’m all for it.

How about the guy driving a trailer over the speed limit with an expired license that crashed into a car behind a bus killing all four family members and injuring 24 others? Never mind the fact that he also had 21 prior traffic violations – he walked away free with a license suspension. He needs to report to court every 15 days. I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t do any time.

How is it possible for the driver of a public bus with 40 passengers to be driving under the influence of alcohol six times over the legal limit and walk away without a job and just a fine of 26,000 colones ($50)? This one is so good it deserves a translation:

Reacción del MOPT

El Ministerio de Transportes ordenó una investigación para determinar si los dueños de la empresa Station Wagon Alajuela tienen alguna responsabilidad por permitir que el chofer ofreciera el servicio en estado de ebriedad.

Karla González, ministra de Transportes, dijo que hay un reglamento del Consejo de Transporte Público que obliga a los transportistas a velar por la calidad y seguridad del servicio, entre ellos “que el conductor no ande borracho”, dijo.

The transportation Ministry ordered an investigation to determine if the owners of the Alajuela Station Wagon company have some responsibility for allowing the chofer to offer service in a drunken state.

Karla González, ministry of Transportation, said that there exists a regulation of the Public Transportation Council that obliges the passengers to watch over the quality and security of the service, among those, “that the driver is not drunk”, she said.

Everyboby wants to put the blame on someone else. These people should be in jail. Period.
por dehaaij desde My Dos Colones on February 12, 2007, 11:02pm

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