A driver who broke the rules dispenses gel in Mexico City. A driver who broke the rules dispenses gel in Mexico City.

Drivers pay for traffic violations by enforcing COVID protocols

Two hours of work is equal to one penalty point

Motorists in Mexico City who broke traffic rules are paying for it by enforcing COVID protocols as a form of community service.

On Tuesday, sanctioned drivers were on the corredor Madero, a pedestrian walkway between the Bellas Artes museum and the zócalo in the borough of Cuauhtémoc in Mexico City’s historic center, holding signs urging citizens to wear face masks and offering antibacterial gel.

The hours of work owed depend on how many traffic points the drivers have accumulated: each point must be repaid with two hours of community service.

One of the drivers, Karime Athie, was sanctioned for breaking the speed limit and owes 14 hours of community service. Athie said she supported the scheme, and saw the social benefit. “I have to pay with my service. Right now I’m supporting the government by reminding people to wear the mask and apply gel,” she said.

Athie added that she also had to watch an instructional video, complete an online course and attend a face-to-face course as part of the punishment.

The motorists instructed to do community services are given other options, such as removing weeds from outside the office of the mayor of Xochimilco, a borough in the south of Mexico City.

To check their points, drivers can search for “fotocívicas” and create an account with their CURP identity numbers.

Mexico is one of the easiest countries in the world to get a drivers license. In Mexico City, one of the cities with the highest density of traffic in the world, there is no theoretical or practical examination process and a three-year license can be obtained for 871 pesos (about $44).

With reports from Milenio

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