The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV) decided to waive all payments on appealed traffic tickets until judges can make a ruling on the constitutionality of the new traffic law.
A judicial branch spokeswoman said that judges could take between one month and two years to submit the decision. Meanwhile, the tickets before COSEVI (Roadway Safety Council) will be exempted from payment.
The Sala IV made the announcement on Wednesday in response to a case filed by Yuribeth Méndez, a representative of a leading non-taxi car service and transport drivers organization.
Méndez said the new traffic law, which went into effect in March with fines that many call excessive, eliminates the opportunity for alleged traffic violators to argue their case before a judge.
“All Costa Ricans should have the right to argue their case before a judge,” she said. “Yet, (COSEVI) has been issuing decisions without giving Costa Ricans the opportunity to defend themselves or present their case.”
The daily La Nación reports that COSEVI has received appeals on 25,000 traffic tickets with an estimated value of $27 million.
Appeals must be submitted within 10 days of an alleged infraction to the closest COSEVI office along with contact information, a letter explaining the reasons for appeal and a copy of the ticket.