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Costa Rican motorists soon won’t have to wait for police to clear minor car accidents

It’s a common sight on Costa Rican roads: traffic snarled for blocks as two cars sit obstructing traffic, waiting for a traffic cop to appear and give the OK to move the vehicles.

But soon drivers will no longer have to wait for authorities after minor accidents.

President Luis Guillermo Solís and Public Works and Transport Minster Carlos Segnini signed a decree earlier this week that will allow motorists who get into minor accidents to move their vehicles out of traffic before they exchange insurance information.

The decree — which takes effect 120 days after its publication in the government newspaper, La Gaceta — applies to accidents involving damage to vehicles only, and in cases where both drivers can come to an agreement.

Casa Presidencial said the change would free up traffic police to address other issues and clear the country’s congested roadways from unnecessary traffic jams.

Both parties would need to fill out a minor accident declaration provided by their insurer, along with photographs, video or other evidence to accompany the claim.

If the drivers cannot come to an agreement, they would contact traffic police and sit blocking traffic — as usual.

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