46 Reasons Not To Drive or Rent a Car in Puerto Rico

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Driving in Puerto Rico has always been hectic. Road conditions on the Island are in a deplorable state due to the depression (yes, the correct word is depression, because there’s no such thing as a 10-year recession) that has affected the U.S. territory for close to a decade. Throw in the way many Puerto Ricans drive like maniacs and it’s a real gamble to get behind the wheel and explore this tropical paradise.

You might be thinking: “why is the author of a blog like “Puerto Rico By GPS” telling us not to drive in Puerto Rico”? And maybe you’re right. Maybe I should just shut up and keep enticing tourists to explore every corner of Puerto Rico. But I’m not wired that way. I tell it like is.

You can decide to ignore the hundreds of potholes and even get used to the crazy driving style of the Puerto Ricans. But when the government tries to balance the budget on the backs of the people who decide to endure these unfortunate conditions that’s taking it too far.

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Fines have been increasing steadily due to the crazy way in which many Puerto Ricans drive. They ignore speed limits, run through traffic lights, cut you off at the last minute, change lanes without a turn signal, park wherever they please… it’s a nightmare! But the latest fine hike is just too much! It’s basically another tax on an already hurting citizenry. What’s worse, it’s a tax on you, the tourist who’s unaware of these laws and comes to our Island with fresh green dollars that help uplift our economy.

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Well, be aware because the Puerto Rican government is out to strip you of those hard earned greenbacks. Hell, many of the approved fines can cost you more than your plane ticket. So here’s a list of the latest fine rates just so you’ll know what you’re getting into:

  • Parking in a handicap space — $1,000.00
  • Driving with a suspended or revoked drivers permit — $300.00
  • Not yielding to an emergency vehicle — $100.00
  • Speeding (up to 99 mph) — $100 +$10 for every mile over the limit
  • Speeding (over 100 mph) — $1,000
  • Speeding in a school zone — $200 +$10 for every mile over the limit
  • Speeding in a road work area — $150 +$10 for every mile over the limit
  • Driving too slowly (20 mph under the speed limit) — $100
  • Driving too slowly (where two or more lanes are available) — $200
  • Inciting road racing — $3,000.00
  • Road racing — $5,000 + 6 month suspension of your drivers permit + vehicle confiscation
  • Reckless driving — $500 to $1,000
  • Driving on the road shoulder — $500 + 6 points
  • Parking on sidewalks, medians or green areas — $150
  • Parking in a cargo zone — $150
  • Obstructing a handicap ramp — $500
  • Obstructing traffic while waiting for others — $100.00
  • Passing a red light — $500 + 6 points
  • Stopping at a red light and then passing it — $300.00
  • Passing a yellow light — $300.00 + 6 points
  • Tinted windows — $100.00
  • Catching up to and passing a bus — $300.00 + 4 points
  • Riding a motorcycle with a passenger under 12 — $100.00
  • Riding a motorcycle without a fastened and DOT approved helmet — $100.00
  • Riding a motorcycle on the sidewalk — $500.00
  • Talking on a cell phone while driving — $100.00
  • Not using a safety belt — $100.00 per passenger
  • Carrying a child without a child seat — $400.00 + 6 points
  • Using a child seat not certified by the fire department — $100.00
  • Passenger under 12 in the front seat — $500.00
  • Driving without a copy of the vehicle registration — $100.00
  • Unreadable license plate — $100.00
  • Driving with an expired registration tag (marbete) — $500.00
  • Driving with a license plate belonging to another vehicle — $1,000.00
  • Altering a license plate — $100.00
  • Not transferring ownership of a sold vehicle before 30 days — $200.00
  • Not transferring ownership of a sold vehicle before 10 days — $100.00
  • Driving a vehicle with the wrong type of drivers permit — $200.00
  • Loaning a car to someone without a drivers permit — $200.00
  • Driving in reverse gear — $100.00 + 4 points
  • Not yielding to a blind person (with a cane or service dog) — $200 + 3 points
  • Not keeping the proper distance between vehicles — $100 + 3 points
  • Obstructing traffic at an intersection — $100.00
    (when the light changes and you’re stuck in the middle)
  • Parking a car with an expired registration tag (marbete) on a public road — $150.00
  • Not reducing your lights for oncoming vehicles — $50.00 + 2 points
    (high beams and LED light bars)
  • Driving with a defective bulb — $50.00
  • Move over (whatever that means) — $150.00

As you can see many of these fines are purely subjective and designed specifically to be hidden taxes. Additionally, many Puerto Ricans just can’t afford them, so many of them will just pile them up or even drive without a permit altogether. Furthermore, traffic fines are difficult —or even impossible— to enforce when the person lives in a different country or jurisdiction.

In any case, just be advised that the government of Puerto Rico just approved another measure that makes it less appealing to visit the Island. This, of course, unless the law just applies to local residents, which would be unconstitutional altogether, if I’m not mistaken.

So What Can You Do?

Well, you still have options. You can hire a driver to take you wherever you want to go. Those are hard to find, expensive and unreliable. You can also buy an excursion, which might not be what you would like but would probably be more to the government’s liking (hell, they don’t care about what you like anyway). Or you can stay in the San Juan Metroplex and the hell with all the smaller hotels, restaurants and beautiful attractions that abound throughout the island. That, my friend, is what the government would really love you to do.

©2017,Orlando Mergal, MA
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Bilingual Content Creator, Blogger, Podcaster,
Author, Photographer and New Media Expert
Tel. 787-750-0000, Mobile 787-306-1590

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on a link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest Comes Full Circle

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Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest 2017Twenty-seven years ago, in the balmy month of June, a group of virtuoso musicians from Puerto Rico and abroad got together to honor cuban saxofonist Paquito D’Rivera and raise money for the Inter-American University’s Jazz Program. The event took place at Plaza Dársenas in Old San Juan.

Throughout the years the event has taken place at other venues including the Sixto Escobar Baseball Stadium and the Tito Puente Amphitheater, both within the municipality of San Juan.

This year the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest returns to Old San Juan. But instead of going to Plaza Dársena, which would be too small and crowded, it will take place at Bahía Urbana, a new and larger venue at the opposite end of the piers on the south side of San Juan Bay.

Danilo Pérez

Danilo Pérez

This year the festival honors Danilo Pérez, a panamanian pianist whose life-long journey as a musician and educator spells excellence all around. The twenty-seventh edition of the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest will also feature iLe, VivaNativa Funk & Blues, Lado Ve., Negroni’s Trio, Miguel Zenón’s Quartet, Spyro Gyra, Harold López-Nussa’s Trio, the Ellis Marsalis Quartet, Puerto Rico En Berklee, Lannie Battistini and Hands In Motion and Bobby Valentín and the LJ’s.

Music starts at 8:00pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday and at 5:00pm on Sunday. Any one of these acts, by itself, would well be worth the price of admission but you can get tickets for just $12 (Thursday) and $20 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) at http://www.ticketera.com.

For more information visit the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest 2017 website.

How To Get There:

©2017,Orlando Mergal, MA
____________________

Bilingual Content Creator, Blogger, Podcaster,
Author, Photographer and New Media Expert
Tel. 787-750-0000, Mobile 787-306-1590

connect-with-me-on-linkedin

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on a link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest 2016 In Pictures

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It all ended last night. The 26th edition of the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest came to a close yesterday evening with three exciting acts and the “doctorification” of one of Puerto Rico’s most prolific artists doctor Ray Santos. Ray Santos is better known for his arrangements for music greats like Mario Bauzá, Machito, Tito Rodríguez and Tito Puente, but he is also a virtuoso musician, composer and educator.

Darla Hanly, dean of Professional Education for the prestigious Berklee College of Music, bestowed a well deserved Honorary Doctorate Degree on Santos together with Mr. Luis Álvarez, producer of the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest and also a Berklee graduate.

During the afternoon “El Sindicato Del Jazz” celebrated their traditional pre-event barbecue party.

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Telling you once again about the festival would be redundant, because that’s what I’ve been doing during the last few days. So I thought that it would be better just to show you.

Enjoy!!!

Thursday, March 17

Henry Cole & Villa Locura

Pirulo and his Tribal Jazz Experience

DJ Guti Talavera

Friday, March 18

Charlie Sepúlveda and the Turnaround

Ralph Irizarry & Timbalaye

Luis Salinas Quintet

Saturday, March 19

Furito Ríos & his Standard Bomba

Antonio Sánchez and Migration

Paquito D’Rivera Ensemble

Sunday, March 20

Berklee in Puerto Rico

Roberta Gambarini Quartet

Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest Big Band

Ray Santos Honorary Doctorate Ceremony

Sunday Afternoon Party (“El Sindicato Del Jazz”)

©2016,Orlando Mergal, MA
____________________

Bilingual Content Creator, Blogger, Podcaster,
Author, Photographer and New Media Expert
Tel. 787-750-0000, Mobile 787-306-1590

connect-with-me-on-linkedin

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on a link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”