President Luis Guillermo Solís orders plan to protect cyclists
President Luis Guillermo Solís ordered a group of his ministers and officials to draft, within 30 days, a comprehensive plan to improve protection for cyclists.
Solís announced the order on Monday during an event in San José where he officially inaugurated the new school year.
The president asked ministers of Public Education, Transport and Public Works (MOPT), Culture and Youth, Sports as well as the Executive President of the National Insurance Institute to form a special group to draft the plan.
The strategy should also take into consideration opinions from the Roadway Safety Council, and from urban cyclists groups, motorists groups, private sector leaders and other citizen groups.
Solís said the country currently has a large number of regulations and policies about roadway safety and education, but they lack coordination. For that reason he asked top officials of those agencies to consolidate all of them in order to look for a more effective compliance.
“We’ve worked all week in memory of the people who died in the tragic accident last week and we found that we have a lot of good programs, but they all are very dispersed,” Solís said.
The president said they are absolutely aware that the country needs more Traffic Police officers. He also said he supports recent proposals such as reinstating surveillance cameras on the roads and distributing reflective vests.
Solís’ order came just a day after thousands of cyclists marched along the main streets of the capital San José, demanding respect for them on the roads.
Among other events, the march included a demonstration at La Sabana Park, west of the downtown, where cyclists formed a giant “Respect” sign and staged other protests.
They also rode in front of Calderón Guardia Hospital, where the only survivor of the fatal traffic accident that killed three cyclists last week is still in serious conditions.
The march concluded precisely at the exact location of the accident in Curridabat, east of San José, where three painted hearts on the road remember the victims.
Cyclists and other citizen groups also demonstrated in front of the Legislative Assembly and the MOPT last Thursday asking for stricter regulations and for better protection for them.
They delivered lawmakers and MOPT officials with a ten-point list of petitions and placed white bikes at both buildings.
See a video of Sunday’s demonstration posted by urban cyclists group ChepeCletas.
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