Turning to the right with the traffic light in red is a practice that is allowed in the transit law and that, if applied well, may help to release the frequent traffic jams occurring in the main cities of Costa Rica. However, many drivers do not know what they can do in such a case.
When the Traffic Police were consulted, they assured that this maneuver is allowed 24 hours a day. Of course, it can be done as long as the signaling does not prohibit it.
The regulation is applied in Article 104 of Transit Law 9078, which states: “When the green light of the traffic light gives right of way, or when it turns to the right in red, the driver will give right of way to all pedestrians and cyclists that are on the road”.
This means that you must always respect the traffic signals and have an attitude of courtesy, as well as being responsible to watch out that there is no pedestrian or cyclist crossing the way. Once the driver makes sure of this, and that other cars do not come in the other lane, he can turn right with the red light. Therefore, he should not be fined for doing it.
It is important to remember that you must always stop the automobile. It is not just about slowing down and turning; the vehicle must be stopped completely, observe that cars or pedestrians or cyclists do not come, and the turn is made.
In more than one way, this practice may help to release traffic jams, especially during peak hours. And there is no time limit to apply it.