Posted by: Idioma Extra | December 6, 2010

Tuesday’s News

Traffic Cameras in Costa Rica Almost Ready For Use


It won’t be long before the twelve cameras on four major routes will complete their testing and go into use to curb speeding by ticketing drivers electronically. The cameras have been installed on the General Cañas, Florencio del Castillo, Próspero Fernández, and the Circunvalación highways.

César Quirós, director of the Policía de Tránsito, explains that the cameras will be operational 24 hours a day, taking snapshots of drivers who exceed the speed limit.

These cameras are different than those cameras installed by local television stations to report on traffic conditions. These are high speed cameras that can detect movement and zoom in on the license plate of the vehicle, for instance.

However, before the cameras can go into use, there are still several steps to be completed, one being the installation of signs indicating the presence of the cameras and warning drivers that they will be ticketed for exceeding the speed limit.

Included in the ticketing may also be offenses such as, drivers not wearing their seatbelts and not having the marchamo or Riteve; and offenses like not stopping at a stop sign or running a red light, offences the director calls “impersonal offences”.

With that completed, the task falls on the desk of Francisco Jiménez, the Ministro de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) to sign the order allowing the cameras to be used to ticket drivers.

Once the Minister signs the order, drivers caught speeding on camera will receive notice that a ticket has been issued against the license plate of that vehicle. The notification will be made personally or by “other” method, explained director Quirós. The Director did not give an explanation of the “other” method.

Once notified, the driver or owner of the vehicle (if different) will then have ten working days to appeal the ticket, failure to do so they will be subject to collection.

The use of the cameras and the electronic ticketing is based on articles 150 and 150bs of the Ley de Tránsito that went into effect on March 1, 2010.

The cameras have been in testing mode for the last two months and according to director Quirós, 80% of the 80.000 vehicles circulating daily on the General Cañas exceed the speed limit.

Although there is no set date for the start of the use of the cameras, the beginning of January 2011 is a good bet.

The Tránsito Director added that in the near future, more cameras will be installed in more locations.

Word of the Day

Pronunciation: /əˈfɛns/
Origin: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin offensa, from feminine of offensus, past participle of offendere
First Known Use: 14th century
1 a [non-count]: something that causes a person to be hurt, angry, or upset;  b [count]: something that is wrong or improper —often + to ▪ His actions are an offense to public morals. —often + against ▪ Such language is an offense against common decency.
2 [count]: a criminal act ▪ a capital/federal/criminal offense ▪ serious/minor offenses
3 /ˈa:ˌfɛns/ US sports, a: the group of players on a team who try to score points or goals against an opponent [count]

More Vocabulary

Against: prep. as a charge on (something)
Appeal: v.
to take a lower court’s decision to a higher court for review
Curb: v. to control or limit (something)
Falls: v.
to come within the limits, scope, or jurisdiction of something
Impersonal: adj.
having no personal reference or connection
Ticket (to): v.
to give (a driver) a ticket for driving or parking improperly

Love those Phrasal Verbs

Zoom in (on): to bring (a subject, scene, etc.) into close-up by using a zoom lens

  • Technology is incredible now a days, with Google Maps I can zoom in and see my house and the dogs in the back yard!

Below are some common phrases used when speaking on the phone in English. To learn more, consider Idioma Internacional’s AFD 550 Telephoning and Business Communication Course!

Asking for repetition: Sorry, I didn’t catch that. Would you mind repeating what you just said?
I’m afraid I didn’t understand. Could you repeat that?
Could you spell (that/your name/etc.) please?

Acknowledging repetition: I see, thank you.
Okay, I’ve got that now.



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