Welcome to Baja123.com Blog Sign in | Help

Rosarito City in Mexico changes ticket and fine process

ROSARITO BEACH — U.S. visitors who commit infractions such as speeding, running a red light or parking by a fire hydrant in the tourist-oriented city of Rosarito Beach now receive tickets printed in English and Spanish.

            The city also now allows drivers to pay fines by mail to a U.S. postal box rather than follow the officer to the police station and face a municipal judge.

            Mayor Hugo Torres said the measures are intended as a convenience for foreign visitors, but also to decrease the possibility of an encounter with a dishonest police officer who demands payment on the spot.

            The tickets list 23 common infractions and the fines they entail, in both pesos and dollars. Driving without headlights, $17.50; parking in a taxi zone, $21.90; rolling through a stop sign, $43.85. The city cuts the fines in half for visitors who pay within 15 days.

            The fines are the same for Mexican drivers. Only members of Rosarito's 25-member tourist police force have been authorized to issue tickets to foreign drivers, said the city's secretary of public safety, Jorge Eduardo Montero Alvarez.

            When a foreigner is stopped away from tourist areas, “the policeman has to call a tourism officer to issue the ticket,” Montero said. Drivers can appear before a judge if they want to contest the ticket.

            The measures come as Rosarito Beach has been reaching out for tourists. Reports of violence, the U.S. economic downturn and clogged border crossings have left Baja California tourist destinations struggling economically in recent months.

            Baja California's deputy tourism secretary, Ives Lelevier, said other municipalities in the state have instituted bilingual ticket programs, namely Tijuana, Mexicali and Ensenada.

            Rosarito Beach's previous mayoral administration had started a bilingual ticket program, but it had been abandoned for months by the time Torres took office in December 2007, Montero said. Torres launched the new program last month.

            Tijuana does not have a separate bilingual ticket, but part of its regular tickets are translated into English.

            Alfonso Saenz, Tijuana's transit chief, said all ticketed drivers in his city are required to appear in person before a municipal judge who sets the fine. Especially with tourism down, Saenz said, officers have been encouraged to use their judgment and issue a warning to foreign drivers who may be unfamiliar with the area.

By Sandra Dibble (Contact)

Union-Tribune Staff Writer

January 10, 2009

Sandra Dibble: (619) 293-1716; (Contact)

Published Saturday, January 10, 2009 9:13 AM by Kanoa Biondolillo


Anonymous comments are disabled