Costa Rican Drivers Who Carry Pets on Their Legs Are Exposed to Fine of ¢113,000

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    Drivers carrying pets on their legs are exposed to a fine of ¢113,000, the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) reported in a statement on Thursday. This fine is also sanctioned when it comes to smaller animals, such as an iguana, or a hamster, to give couple of examples, which are carried on the shoulders or arms. It is illegal because it is doing something other than driving.

    Ideally, pets should be securely restrained in the vehicle, but it is not required. “We must understand that animals are unpredictable. If we take them with us, while driving, they can do something that makes us lose control of the vehicle, such as biting us, urinating on us, scratching us, jumping out of the window, falling on the pedals, which would make it difficult for us to brake. There are many potential risk situations that are latent when we carry the pet on the legs, on the shoulders, in the arms”, explained Alexander Solano Quirós, director of the Traffic Police.

    They have to restrain pets

    The recommendation that pets not be loose, or free, inside the vehicle, is just to prevent them from jumping on the driver. They could also be fatally injured if an accident occurs, as they will “fly away” as they are not restrained. Using a device in which they are attached in the back seat is the most recommended.

    Of course, the Traffic Police highlighted, there is not a single sanction in the Law for taking the pet without holding, and no regulations are established on how the animal should travel in the vehicle. They are only recommendations of the police force that ensure the safety of both people and that pet.

    Very expensive distractions

    Between January and September, 2,272 drivers were sanctioned with a fine of ¢113,000 each, when they were caught doing another activity while they were driving. Although the most common behavior in which drivers are detected, while steering the wheel, is to use the cell phone, without the hands-free device.

    Putting on makeup, getting comfortable and adjusting your clothes, consuming food or drinks, changing the stations, reading a book, using your cell phone, playing with pets or with other people, are some of the activities that should be avoided when driving.

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