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Transitos Suprise Drivers in Downtown San Jose Friday

This lucky motorcyclist whose motorbike was 2 decibels above the permitted got off with a warning. The fine for noisy vehicles is now ¢306,550 colones. Photo Alonso Tenorio / La Nacion

Armed with a sound meter and a pair of pliers, Transito officials are serious about putting order to the downtown streets of San Jose of illegally parked vehicles, or too noisy, not having all the documents in order and/or driving under the influence.

Reforms to the Ley de Transito has given the traffic police new tools to do better get a handle on the growing traffic chaos.

Not having a drivers license or the Marchamo (circulation permit) can result in the seizure of license plates and a traffic fine. Photo Alonso Tenorio / La Nacion

On Friday, in a ‘preventive’ operation, Transitos stopped vehicles on the Avenida Segunda, in the heart of the capital city, to warn drivers of the new regulations.

For example, a number of motorcyclists were surprised by the spot-check. Transitos, using a sound meter can now check the decibel levels and fine drivers whose vehicles are above the limits.

Transitos can now fine and seize license plates of illgally parked vehicles without the driver being present. Photo Alonso Tenorio / La Nacion

A 250cc motorbike has a maximum noise level of 94 decibels. For motorbikes with more power, the maximum noise levels is 96db. For passenger vehicles, the maximum is 90db.

The fine for violating noise levels is ¢306,550 colones, plus costs.

The vehicles stopped Friday morning for excessive noise got off with a warning. However, one driver in particular, not having a license had his motorbike confiscated.

The driver of this high powered motorbike was circulating without a license. Off to the pound the bike went. Photo Alonso Tenorio / La Nacion

On the streets of downtown San Jose, a number of drivers found their vehicles without license plates and a ticket on the windshield. The reforms to the traffic law now permit Transitos to take action against illegally parked vehicles even if the driver/owner is not present.

In total, Friday morning’s operation on Avenida Segunda resulted in 23 vehicles without license plates, two motorcycles seized and 47 tickets issued.

Another change soon to take effect is the refusal to take a roadside breathalyzer. The reforms to the law empower Transito officials to issue a ¢306,550 colones (plus costs) fine the vehicle seized to any driver who is unwilling to submit to a breathalyzer test when requested.