>Who ever said that moving to Costa Rica would not be an experience. An article today in “La Nacion” was about the “NEW” traffic laws that just came into effect on March 1. A small article in the law, number 69 states that a truck exceeding 1500 kilograms requires a “B2” license. A license to drive a car is a “B1”. So anyone whose car exceeds 1500 kilograms (3306 pounds gross weight) will require a “B2” license to legally drive or face a $720 fine.
Now here is the real trick, if you show up to get a “B2” license with your “heavy” car you can not take the test because it is not a truck! You have to go rent a truck to take your test. See where I am going with this? A “B2” license is to operate a truck that can carry up to 5 Tons. That usually requires a truck with two rear axles. I remember driving a 5 ton Dump Truck when I was in the Army, but I don’t think that will get me by in this case. What the law forgot to state was the weight limits imposed on vehicles was the weight it can carry, not the physical weight of the vehicle.
Since most people drive 4×4’s or some type of SUV in Costa Rica, they are now subject to getting fined for not having the correct drivers license. Most SUVs would fall under this category since they weigh more than 3300 pounds. The average new car or light-duty truck sold in the 2003 model year tipped the scales at 4,021 pounds, breaking the two-ton barrier for the first time since the mid-1970’s, according to a report released by the Environmental Protection Agency. I know that most cars in Costa Rica are not US type cars, there are still a lot imported. Even a person driving a Honda Accord, which weighs more than 1500 kilograms would be required to get a “B2” license. So can you see having to go out and rent a BIG truck in order to take the driving test just to drive a Honda Accord?
I am hoping that with this article appearing the today’s paper the legislative branch reads it, make changes to this new set of laws and this article is corrected. I am sure there are a few Diputados that drive SUVs. There is no way I would be able to drive if this law is not changed or if the Transitos do not decide to make a different interpretation. If you do get a ticket the article says that you can appeal (do you know how much trouble it is to appeal a traffic ticket in Costa Rica?????) It might cost you twice as much.
I always knew that it would be fun moving to a new country, but I had no idea just how much!!!
Later today the MOPT officials asked the Tansitos not to give tickets to 4×4 drivers and to use the old 1997 law that referees to the weigh as payload. There has been more than 44 comments on this article, none positive. Power of the people!