Posted by: Idioma Extra | March 21, 2011

Tuesday´s News

Traffic Fines To Pedestrians On The Increase


Although it is little known and even less applied, the Traffic Act (Ley de Tránsito) allows for sanctions against pedestrians.

And for those who do know of the Act´s inclusion in the law, few know the details.

Jaywalking, not observing traffic signals, heads the list of pedestrian infractions. It is not uncommon on any day, on the major highways across the Central Valley, for pedestrians to dash across fast moving traffic to get to the other side, in many cases not using the nearby pedestrian overpasses.

On the Prospero Fernandez (San José – Caldera in front of the Cima Hospital) people getting off the bus decide to take the fast route across the six- lane highway, hopping over the concrete median than use the overpass. The same is a daily occurrence in front of Plaza Cariari on the General Cañas Highway.

In 2010, only 48 pedestrians were fined a total of ¢63.240 colones plus costs which brings the total of the fines close to ¢100.000 colones or US$200 at the current exchange rate.

What most do not know is that a traffic official can fine a pedestrian for ¨becoming a danger to oneself and vehicular traffic¨.

If the pedestrian has a driver´s license, the ticket is issued against the license which could also mean points off the license. If not, the ticket is issued against the cedula.

In the case of minors or foreigners who do not have or are unwilling to provide information to the transit official to issue a ticket, the traffic official has the option of calling in the police (Fuerza Pública)  to deal with the situation, which would then end up in the civil and criminal courts.

The new Traffic Act went into effect on March 1, 2010.

Word of the Day

pe·des·tri·an: \pə-ˈdes-trē-ən\
Origin: Latin pedestr-, pedester, literally, going on foot, from ped-, pes foot — more at foot
First Known Use: 1716
1 [more pedestrian; most pedestrian] : not interesting or unusual : ordinary
2 always used before a noun : relating to or designed for people who are walking ▪ a pedestrian mall

More Vocabulary

Fine: v. to impose a fine on: punish by a fine (a sum imposed as punishment for an offense)
Jaywalk: v.
to cross a street carelessly or in an illegal manner so as to be endangered by traffic
Overpass: n. a crossing of two highways or of a highway and pedestrian path or railroad at different levels where clearance to traffic on the lower level is obtained by elevating the higher level
Sanction: n. the detriment, loss of reward, or coercive intervention annexed to a violation of a law as a means of enforcing the law

Idioms and Phrases

End up: arrive at, result in, finish
He thought he’d end up living in the city.

Below are some common phrases used in business writing and advanced communication in English. To learn more, consider Idioma Internacional’s AFD 600 Introduction to Business Writing and Advance Communication Course!

Scheduling an Interview

The Reason for Calling

I am calling about…
I would like to know more about…
Could you give me some information about…?
I would like to meet with you to discuss opportunities within your company.



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