Site Meter
Send Us An Email
Panama Guide

Welcome to Panama Guide
Wednesday, June 26 2019 @ 03:59 PM UTC

View Printable Version

Traffic On Inter American Highway Reopened After Intense Work

Cars & Transportation #Panama - The inhabitants of Boqueron, Bugaba, Dolega and Alanje experienced "moments of distress" following the devastation caused by heavy rains in recent days. In addition to the inclement weather, the inhabitants of Boqueron and Bugaba had to face the exhausting journey that takes two days, to negotiate the perilous stretch of the Southern route as a result of the damage to the bridge over the Chico river. The situation being experienced in the area prompted the National Civil Protection System in the province declare a state of emergency, to facilitate the provision of resources to deal with it. Several bridges failed during the emergency, while about 300 people and 60 residences were affected.

President Ricardo Martinelli went to the site to reopen the bridge over the Rio Chico, and promised to help the families who lost their possessions, or whose homes were damaged. The president expressed his condolences to the family of the Eynar Espinosa, who died buried by a landslide in Boqueron. Martinelli said he will investigate whether the destruction of the Chico River bridge was the responsibility of the Pedregalito hydroelectric project, which uses its power, especially in the downstream flow.

One effect of the calamity, which must be considered in the immediate future, is the damage caused by the rains to crops, which could result in a reduction of up to 40% in horticultural production. Crops such as tomatoes, lettuce, onion, and paprika could see significantly reduced performance. (Prensa)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

New High Speed Chase Cars for National Police

Cars & TransportationA new project for "road attention and persecution" was launched by the National Police, which will feature several vehicles, said Deputy Commissioner Ramon Lopez, head of transportation of the entity. The main vehicle for this program is a high performance chase car, based on a Ford Mustang V6 GT. This car will serve to catch those drivers who participate in illegal road races that occur on several of Panama's roadways. There will also be vehicles for mobile checkpoints to be used on the open road, as well as small buses equipped to help drivers suffering from mechanical breakdown. (Telemetro)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

MOP Calls For ATTT To Regulate Overweight Trucks

Cars & TransportationPublic Works Minister, Federico José Suárez, called upon the Land Transit and Transportation Authority (ATTT) and the Traffic Police to do their jobs and to regulate the weight of trucks to prevent damage to roadways. Minister Suarez said even though they continue to invest money to improve the roadways, they continue to deteriorate because they cannot handle the overweight trucks. Suarez announced there will be new regulations governing weights and dimensions, after announcing a new program of road maintenance.

Minister Suarez also issued a warning to those who have opened secret (or unauthorized) exits on the highway between Arriaján and La Chorrera, and those who are waiting to do so, that the full weight of the law will be applied against them. Suarez said these practices are helping to undermine the roadways.

He announced this Friday the section of road to Llano Bonito will be opened. Suarez also announced that the Centennial Bridge will soon open to vehicular traffic, and the Bridge of the Americas will be partially closed for necessary repairs, but it will not be completely closed. (TVN)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Taxis Have Until Friday To Update License Plates (Or Be Towed Away)

Cars & TransportationSeptember 30th is the deadline for taxi drivers to have their new license plates, and there will be no more second chances or extensions, according to the Director of the Transit Authority, Jorge Ricardo Fabrega. Fabrega said vehicles without proper license plates cannot be driven, nor can they offer taxi services. He urged taxi owners to come to the offices of the ATTT to get their paperwork up to date. The director of the Transit Authority said an agreement was reached with taxi union leaders and they will not stop the process of handling payment. (Telemetro)

Editor's Comment: This was a lead story on the news today. Any taxi that does not have valid plates as of 30 September (this Friday) will be towed.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Taxi Drivers Can Start Charging Higher Rates Now

Cars & TransportationThe new tariff scheme, the only requirement needed for taxi drivers in the districts of Panama and San Miguelito to being to charge the higher rates, was approved by the Transit Authority and Land Transport (ATTT). With this document which specifies the new tariffs by zones and sectors, taxi drivers may charge the passage adjustment approved by the Board of Directors of the ATTT on 28 July. The increases in taxi fares vary from 5 cents to 20 cents for the seven different sectors of the city, which extends from the Causeway to Costa del Este. With the new scheme approved by the ATTT, the minimum fare, which previously was $1.00, now is $1.20. Each additional passenger will be charged 50 cents, and on Sundays and holidays taxi drivers can charge an additional 30 cents, over and above the base fare of $1.20. To cross over the three main roads (Via España, Tumba Muerto, and Transístmica) in order to get to a certain place, passengers will be charged an additional 30 cents. Rafael Reyes, secretary general of the Association of Christian Taxi Drivers of Panama and the leader of the Provincial Board, said the new fares can be charged starting this week. According to the union carrier, the taxi stops should begin removing the old rate charts and drivers should start carrying the new scheme to avoid confusion with users.

SCHEME TO BE VISIBLE - For the new scheme, he said, security measures were taken to prevent counterfeiting to make sure the drivers are charging the users a fair rate. For safety, the document shall bear the logo of the ATTT in the background in which the fee schedule appears, also on the back was placed a distinctive entity, and further the image of a taxi. (Siglo)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama Will Install Traffic Monitoring System - Will Issue Fines For Speeding And Running Red Lights

Cars & TransportationFor 10 years, the company Traffic Safety de Panama, SA will be responsible for the application of three types of infractions against the Traffic Regulations committed by drivers. The company will impose fines against anyone caught running a red light, speeding, or obstructing traffic. On 8 August 2011 the company was awarded a contract by the Land Transit and Transportation Authority (ATTT) worth $3 million dollars. According to Article 241 of the Traffic Regulations, the obstruction of traffic and driving with speed exceeding the limit, are infractions carrying a $50 dollar fine. The fine for running a red light is $100 dollars. Manuel Salgado, head of IT at the ATTT said these violations will be detected using video cameras that will initially be installed at the 20 busiest intersections in the country. The first cameras will be installed on Avenida Balboa, Calle 50, in San Miguelito, on Transístmica and Via España. In the interior of the country, away from the capital city, the cameras will be installed in the towns with the most traffic.

Violators Will Be Identified - According to Salgado, the video cameras will be able to identify the license plate number of vehicles. This information will enable the company to issue the sanctions, and the drivers who have committed the offense will be notified through an as yet undefined mechanism. Email is one of the options, he said, and they intend to inform the drivers to keep the fines from going into contempt.

ATTT Will Collect The Fines - The sanctions established using the video cameras will be collected by the ATTT, however the company Traffic Safety de Panama SA will charge a percentage that has not been established. Following the endorsement of the Comptroller General of the Republic, the company will have 180 days to install the cameras at the established sites. (El Siglo)

Editor's Comment: A lot of countries are going to these things. I've seen ones that have a large sign saying "the speed limit is 50 mph" and then under that there's your speed clocked by an automatic radar gun, and "your speed is..." If it goes over a present level, it turns red and a message pops up saying "you've been fined." Have a nice day...

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Lane Closures on Bridge Of The Americas For Repair Work

Cars & TransportationTwo lanes of the Bridge of the Americas will be closed starting tomorrow until Thursday August 25 due to repair work to be done by the Ministry of Public Works (MOP). The construction work will begin at 10:00 pm and continue until 4:00 am, and the two outer lanes of the bridge will be closed, however the center sections will remain in operation. This closure is due to work to place equipment that will measure the arch of the center part of the bridge in order to keep it in optimal condition and thus provide security for the growing number of users who daily use this important structure and path to their destinations. The MOP also indicated traffic flow will be suspended in full for 15 minutes every night to make measurements and prevent vibrations from affecting the measurements. (Panama America)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

New Taxi Meter System Will Be Implemented This Year

Cars & TransportationThe director of the Land Transit and Transportation Authority Ricardo Fabrega announced today the new taxi meters could be implemented this year. Fabrega also reaffirmed that no driver may charge the higher rates, even though they were approved by the Transit Board last week, until it is promulgated in Official Gazette. Earlier, the Deputy Director of the Transit Authority, Roberto Moreno, justified the use of the new taxi meters on the channel 2 morning news broadcast, saying they would benefit taxi users. According to Moreno the meter functions like a mathematical equation, including the distance covered, elapsed time, and the basic fare. But he admitted in a traffic jam the users will end up paying more for taxi service, so people will have to decide whether or not they want to use it. (La Estrella)

Editor's Comment: The ATTT has had experimental meters installed in a few taxis over the last couple of months. Apparently their trial period is over and they are ready to move forward.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

MOP Will Begin To Remove Illegal Billboards

Cars & TransportationPanama's Minister of Public Works Federico Suarez announced they will begin to enforce the law on road safety and remove the billboards in the capital city, a law they should have been enforcing since last April. "One way or the other, these billboards affect the safety of citizens, and we will fine those who do not abide by the order to remove the advertising, ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 dollars, where repeat offenders will be penalized with the most expensive fines," Suarez explained. The Minister stressed there are laws and rules governing the activity of placing billboards along the sides of the roadway, and the law prohibits the placing of these kinds of billboards on private land and next to the highway, so therefore all of the billboards in these areas have to be removed. This clearance operation will start in Panama City, and then later they will expand out into the interior. (Panama America)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Cost of 95 Octane Gas Going Up This Saturday

Cars & TransportationPrices are going back up. If your vehicle's gas tank is empty you better run to the gas station and fill it, because the prices for gasoline are going to rise. Starting on Saturday 95 octane gasoline will 9 cents. Fortunately the prices for 91 octane gas and low sulfur diesel will remain unchanged because their prices have been frozen by the government. (Dia a Dia)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks