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How Well Do Costa Ricans Drive?

Costa Rica News – How many times did you have to take a road test before getting a license? Almost half of the new Costa Rican drivers have to try twice. 49% of the applicants fail their practical test the first go around.

bad drivers 1In 2010, the failure rate was at 35%. This year, 80,000 have taken the test at one of the country’s 12 venues, and 39,000 failed it. These figures come from a study done by the National Road Safety Council (Cosevi).

One thing that has changed in recent years is that the test is less subjective and less open to bribery. People used to be able to buy licenses, but now the system is computerized. Those in charge of grading the test use a handheld device to add or subtract points as the test progresses.

The computer will know within seconds if a score is changed. With this system in place, only 3 appeals are received weekly, compared to 28 when the test was more subjective.

It’s still not a perfect system. One weakness is that no formal training is required. People are learning from their friends and family who may pass on bad driving habits. It would be ideal to require a certification from a driving school.

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