Tuesday, July 08, 2008

All-day vehicular restrictions to begin on Thursday

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, the vehicular restrictions in San Jose will be on a 24-hour basis. All vehicles, except for heavy commerical vehicles, with the corresponding plate will not be allowed to circulate within the expanded restricted area for the entire day.

The 24-hour restriction begin on Thursday and will affect vehicles with license plates ending in 7 and 8.

The restrictions will be enforced on weekdays (except holidays) and will be in effect for all plates ending in 1 and 2 on Mondays, 3 and 4 on Tuesdays, 5 and 6 on Wednesdays, 7 and 8 on Thursdays and 9 and 0 on Fridays.

The restrictions were announced last week and signed yesterday at Casa Presidencial (Presidential Office). They will be published in the official government publication, La Gaceta, on time for Thursday.

According to Viviana Martin, Public Works and Transport (MOPT) Vice Minister, due to the fact that San Jose's road infrastructure can't cope anymore with the increased number of vehicles currently in circulation the government is looking for ways to reduce fuel consumption, traffic jams, air pollution and the oil bill the country pays for international purchases.

"Since we began the vehicular restrictions at the end of June, the savings have been 5 percent, but that is not enough", said Martin.

Exempt from the restrictions are motocycles and scooters, public transport vehicles like buses and taxis, school buses and vehicles used by the handicapped.

Heavy commercial vehicles -trucks that have a red license plate that begin with "C"- continue with the previous restrictions of being able to circulate San Jose as well as the autopistas in Cartago, Escazu and Alajuela, during morning and afternon rush hours.

The expanded restricted area and hours went into effect on June 26. The fine for violation continues to be ¢5.000 ($9.66).

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