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Panama light jumpers face came


AS THE CARNAGE on Panama’s highways continues to mount with some 150 accidents, scores of injuries and an average of over one fatality a day, The  Transit Authority (ATTT)  has moved to curb at least one demolition derby habit – jumping traffic signals.

In any one day, a driver in Panama City will witness cars, taxis, trucks, Diablos Rojos and even Metro buses speeding through lights. On one morning this week, at one stop on Avenida Balboa, I counted six light jumpers in less than 10 minutes. Three of them were taxis who sped past stopped cars.

Another time, as previously reported,  I followed a Metro Bus carrying passengers that went through three sets of lights.

Now the ATTT is playing catch up and finally implementing an electronic system to monitor transit in the country.

The system will have the functions of “management and control of urban mobility principally in Panama City and at some points in the North and South corridors, “says an Authority release.

Specifically, the system will consist of enabling”photo-fines” on 20 crossings with traffic lights and radar for speeding on the corridors. (Click on the image to check the locations)


Previous initiatives to install cameras to detect infringements have aroused strong criticism because it was linked to a major cash cow for Martinelli linked insiders, now under investigation in another scam.

This time around  “The entire operation and management of infringements will be solely and exclusively the responsibility of the ATTT”. The challenge will be collecting the money with some public transit drivers previously found with thousands of dollars in unpaid fines. Hopefully, the profits will go to introducing other measures to reduce the carnage, with 279 dead so far this year.



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