The Mexico City government has paid vast sums to motorists due to potholes that damaged their vehicles, a freedom of information request by the newspaper El Universal revealed.
The Infrastructure Ministry paid over 6.8 million pesos (US $334,000) to drivers whose vehicles were damaged by broken paving on the city’s main streets, begging the question: wouldn’t it have been cheaper to repair the roads in the first place?
The ministry paid out on 516 of 721 claims, at an average of around 13,000 pesos per payment, from January 2019 through October 2021. The value of the payouts ranged from 1,000-55,000 pesos.
Twenty-five claims were rejected in that period and a further 180 claims are still being processed. The highest number of claims was in 2019, before declining over the subsequent two years.
A separate freedom of information request showed the Infrastructure Ministry and the 16 boroughs of Mexico City made 1,829 requests to the Finance Ministry for accidents caused by potholes in the same period.
However, that still represents a vast decrease: in 2018 alone, 2,261 pothole damage cases were registered.
Infrastructure Minister Jesús Antonio Esteva Medina said that in Mexico City the incidence of potholes on main roads has fallen by 30%. He added that by the end of this 2021 the government would surpass 15 million square meters of repaved roads.
The Mexico City government recently introduced a system for drivers to report potholes on the road.
President López Obrador announced a nationwide plan to repair potholes in August, 2021 and said they were a bigger concern for citizens than security.
With reports from El Universal