Rules and regulations of the road:
Please review the following summary of Costa Rica's traffic laws. Obey these regulations at all times. Avoid accidents by driving carefully and defensively, that is, expecting the unexpected.
1- Unless otherwise indicated, minimum speed on highways is 40 kilometers per hour (k.p.h.). The speed limit varies and is posted by the road.
2- On highways and secondary roads the speed limit is 60 k.p.h., unless otherwise indicated.
3- In urban areas, the speed limit is 40 k.p.h., unless otherwise indicated.
4- Around school zones and in front of hospitals and clinics the speed limit is 25 k.p.h.
5- Driving on beaches is strictly prohibited everywhere, except when there is no other path connecting two towns.
6- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is strictly prohibited. The law enables police officers to perform alcohol test on drivers.
7- The law requires all car passengers to wear a seat belt.
8- Pull over if a police officer signals you to do so. Police officers may ask you to stop if there is an accident ahead, a checkpoint or if you are violating the law by not carrying a license plate or exceeding the speed limit, for example.
9- Your personal documents and the vehicle's registration papers are private property and may not be retained by police officers for any reason.
10- If you are involved in an accident, always wait until a police officer arrives. Do not move your vehicle. The officer will prepare a report. You may also report the accident by calling 911 or 800-0123456.
11- Under no circumstances give money to traffic police or other police officers.
12- If a police officer insists on stopping you or retaining your documents for no apparent reason, ask him to escort you to the nearest police station to clear the problem.
13- If you believe a traffic police officer or any other police officer acted inappropriately or you have questions regarding their behavior, call 257-7798, ext. 2506, and ask to be referred to the nearest police station.
14- Drive confidently and stay alert. Do not stop for people making signals and never stop for hitchhikers.
15- Do not drive through or park your car in poorly lit areas. Never leave your car on the street; always park it in a safe parking lot. Do not leave any belongings in the car where they might be spotted by passersby.
16- Keep your car doors locked at all times. If you are driving in downtown San José, keep the windows shut.
17- Check your car and make sure you are carrying the proper documents before you begin to drive. If you are given a ticket, please pay it at the nearest stateowned bank and present a copy of the receipt to the car rental agency when you return the car.
18- Cabs are red with the license plate number painted in the middle of a yellow triangle on both doors. Airport cabs are orange. Cab drivers must carry visible identification in the cab, including their name and photograph. And the must use their meters for trips of 12 kilometers or less. For longer trips, the fare is negotiated beforehand.