Driving a car in Costa Rica
Driving a car in Costa Rica could be a little bit adventurous.
Get used to relax a little more
Imagine a European driving style: fast, opinionated, loyal and pedantic rules, combined with Latin American mentality: an inability to drive straight, and defect vehicles. Something like that is the Costa Rican traffic. You must always drive carefully, and never ignore the way , even though not everything is clearly visible, and pedestrians can cross the street everywhere.
The traffic rules have the european standards. Legal relations, red light means stop, the traffic signs are commonly understood and known. In order to drive, an european driving license is enough up to 3 months after the entry into the country. Then you have to apply for a national license. More information about renting a car can be found here.
In September 2009, a new traffic order was introduced, the most important thing is the new fines for traffic offenses. A Formula 1 world champion was participated in the advisory. The dramatic measures bring benefits and increases the corruption of the traffic police (Transitos). A type of Flensburg points system has been introduced, the penalty for driving without a seat belt will be up to U.S. $ 300. In September 2011, electronic evidence against speeders were admitted in court.
Tipps to drive by yourself: you should never insist on your right. It is better to let 2 or 3 cars pass by, than engage a dispute. The traffic may be aggressive, completely opposite to mentality of the Ticos. On the main roads , you can frequently see traffic police, carrying out speed controls: of course, in the places where incomprehensible restrictions prevail, and where they can find a shady spot to perform their control. Therefore it is advisable to respect the speed limit; the penalties are high, and it is not worth it to discuss.
You can observes on the streets of Costa Rica a heart painted on the asphalt: this means that someone died at this place.