San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday 10  February  2010

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Mystery of Slow Drivers On San José - Caldera Highway Solved

Driving at 40 km/h per hour on a 80 km/h on the new San José - Caldera highway has been the topic of discussion around the watering holes, the blogs and this media. 

It is inconceivable to see some any slow drivers on a new and modern highway, a highway that is conducive to driving faster than the posted speed limits.

At first I thought it had to be because of the beautiful scenic views offered at various points along the highway. 

For the first time, Costa Ricans were able to see a part of their country that had been hidden from them, due to lack of access, thus, driving slowly allows one to take in the beauty of nature.

Another reason for the slow driving, maybe, could be "let's not destroy the paving of this beautiful road" by driving too fast. It stands to reason that driving fast on a newly paved road will wear it out faster.

Hey, it makes sense, don't knock it.

Ok, maybe not.

So, what could be the reason for all the slow drivers?

Ah, alas the mystery was solved. It is a new traffic sign that has never been seen in Costa Rica before, a sign that says "Velocidad Minima" (Minimum Speed).

Yup, Costa Ricans just aren't used to be told how slow they can go. After all that would be a breach of a right of all Costa Ricans to be denied the right to go as slow as they want, on any highway, and to block traffic as they like.

No, this sign tells them that they have to be moving faster and then, another sign, tells slow traffic to move to the right. What is this country coming to?

The "minimum speed" sign is new in Costa Rica, making its first appearance on the new highway.

I would suggest that if the MOPT - the transportation experts in Costa Rica - really want to reduce the congestion, mainly caused by the slow speeders, remove the minimum speed signs and put on more the sing "multa for velocidad temeraria" signs on the General Cañas ( San José - Alajuela) highway watch the Yatzu's do their thing.

Tomorrow, some inside tips on driving the new highway.

Enrico Cacciatore








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