to the new Santa Cruz Cleanup Ordinancewhich will enter into force on January 17 and which includes fines of up to 750 euros for spitting, urinating in the street and smoking on the beachesamong other infractions, another new municipal regulation will be added shortly, the Traffic Ordinancewhose final approval is scheduled for May. This also increases the sanctions for infractions committed in relation to mobility and circulation in the city, and can reach up to 3,000 euros, unlike the 800 established in the previous regulation as the maximum amount. Among the prohibitions established by the new ordinance are carrying out “harassment” maneuvers with motorized vehicles, such as playing the pita; occupying the road or its surroundings to juggle, sell handkerchiefs or clean windshields, and not wearing a helmet on scooters, for which fines will range between 750 and 1,500 euros.
The City Council has prepared this new Circulation and Mobility Ordinance, also known as the Traffic Ordinance, due to the annulment, by the courts, of the previous regulation, approved in 2019 and which, in turn, replaced the one that was elaborated in 1985, which is the one that is currently in force. The 2019 municipal regulation was annulled due to a formal defect, after the El Perenquén Neighborhood Association denounced that it lacked the corresponding mobility and economic studies. But previously some twenty articles had been suspended.
With this new text, and as pointed out by the Councilor for Security, Evelyn Alonso, from Cs, the Chicharrero City Council wants to implement a new model of mobility in the city, to make it “a friendly place with its pedestrians, accessible and safe, reducing the space for the car”. In this way, and among other aspects, the standard regulates the use of Personal Mobility Vehicles (VMP), such as electric scooters; regulates the creation of parking areas in the street with a “time limit”, which may be paid or free; establishes the implementation of Low Emission Zones, with traffic restrictions; establishes the obligations and prohibitions for vehicles and pedestrians; introduces the creation of Safe Routes to School; regulates the rental business of electric scooters and bicycles; and increases the amounts of all fines.
Very serious offences.
In the previous Traffic Ordinance, very serious offenses were penalized with fines of between 400 and 800 euros. With the new one, they will oscillate between 1,501 and 3,000 euros. Among these are, for example, “circulation with cycles of two or more wheels, pedal-assisted cycles and personal mobility vehicles (scooters) in breach of the established rules on speed limitations”, doing so recklessly or creating a serious danger or risk to other people. Another of the offenses considered very serious is the use of the parking card for people with reduced mobility without the holder of the card in the vehicle.
The fines will range between 751 and 1,500 euros. In the previous regulations, the amounts were between 200 and 400 euros. Among the serious offenses included in the new ordinance are “performing, with motorized vehicles, harassing maneuvers that, by not respecting safety distances or by using lights, horns or other elements, constitute an attempt to modify the trajectory or march within the traffic lane or imply a risk for the rest of the people »; occupying the road or its surroundings carrying out activities such as juggling, selling handkerchiefs, street vending, cleaning windshields, distributing publicity or others; circulate with cycles of two or more wheels, pedal-assisted cycles and scooters in areas where their circulation is prohibited; do not use a helmet on scooters; and the irregular or non-regulatory signaling of the ford.
In the previous municipal ordinance, fines could only go up to 200 euros; in the new one, the amount is increased to 750 euros for minor offences. Among these are the parking of cycles, bicycles and scooters in prohibited places; circulate with skates, skateboards and similar non-motorized devices on roads where their circulation is prohibited; and exceeding the permitted parking time by more than one hour, both in paid and free Regulated Parking Zones.
The Traffic Ordinance regulates the creation of Regulated Parking Zones in certain spaces of the city, with a time limit, which may be free or paid. In the free ones, the user must identify the time the parking starts. To do this, a free and open access mobile phone application will be enabled, in which the driver must register his vehicle by recording his license plate. The application will control the dwell time. In payment areas, a rate will be established by approving the corresponding tax ordinance.
Low Emission Zones.
“With the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving better air quality and public health”, the City Council will implement a Low Emission Zone, in which access, circulation and parking restrictions will be applied in accordance with the classification of vehicles by their level of emissions.
As for pedestrians, the new Traffic Ordinance prohibits crossing the road in places other than those authorized or staying on it; running, jumping or moving around in a way that bothers other people; wait for buses and other public transport vehicles outside the shelters or sidewalks, or invade the road to request their stop; getting on or off moving vehicles; carry out activities on sidewalks, steps, roads, shoulders or, in general, in areas adjacent to the road that, “objectively, may disturb” the drivers or hinder the progress of their vehicles; play ball games, skates and skateboards on the road, except in authorized places; walk along the bike lanes and occupy them by stopping on them; and occupying the road or its surroundings carrying out activities such as juggling, selling handkerchiefs, street vending, cleaning windshields, distributing publicity and others, taking advantage of the arrests or retentions caused by traffic regulatory signs, among other issues.
Safe School Routes.
The Santa Cruz City Council will promote the implementation of safe school itineraries in order to “generate the habit of walking among minors, to go to schools independently and safely.”
It is prohibited to park the car in the same place for more than 10 days and it is also prohibited to change parking, within the same road or section of it, once the maximum stay time has elapsed. Stopping and parking of motorhomes, campers and vehicles approved as home-vehicles is allowed, as long as circulation is not disturbed or put at risk.
They will not be able to circulate on the sidewalks, pedestrian spaces, parks, walks or in pedestrian priority areas. The minimum age to drive with a VMP on roads and public spaces is 15 years. It is prohibited to hold on to another moving vehicle to be towed, load the vehicle with objects that make maneuvering or reduce vision, zigzag between vehicles and pedestrians, drive with headphones or helmets, drive using mobile phones, drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, circulate with a number of people greater than the authorized places, and move in a dangerous way or carry out maneuvers that entail danger or risk for other users. All scooter drivers must wear a protective helmet. In the absence of a cycle lane or bike lane, VMPs may not circulate on the road on those city roads whose maximum authorized speed is greater than 30 kilometers per hour.