Getting a traffic ticket in Mexico may be inconvenient (as it is anywhere), but it’s not the end of the world and shouldn’t put a damper on your vacation or travel plans.
Traffic Tickets and the Baja Peninsula
If you are driving in major peninsula cities, you can often obtain your ticket and simply send in payment once you’re back home. Many visitors think they have to go right away to the police station to take care of their fine. It’s important to ask the office for a written ticket with the amount of the fine. If, however, you get a traffic ticket on the toll road, you may, after all, have to go pay at the police station. The officer can provide information about where you can go to pay your fines.
Rate of Fines
Depending on the nature of the traffic breach, fines will vary. Many common ones such as running a red light typically start at $23 U.S. dollars. Yet fines can go up. These fines also are based on the assumption that there are no other complications like a collision, for instance. Though people frequently joke about the driving experience in Mexico, it’s really not the Wild West. Drivers are expected to obey traffic laws and while U.S. drivers will lament the fact that most Mexican drivers omit the use of a turn signal, the driving laws are designed to keep traffic flowing and safe.
Acting rude or non-compliant with the officer administering a ticket is not advisable. Officers can arrest you and bring you into the station. While your Mexican insurance policy certainly affords you rights and protections, getting arrested in Mexico will certainly complicate your travel plans and may lead to additional fines. Instead, accept the citation and make plans to pay for it. Also, keep in mind that driving under the influence is illegal in Mexico. If you drive drunk, you also forfeit the protections of your
insurance policy. Therefore, never drink and drive anywhere in Mexico. Also, never leave the scene of an accident as this could cause serious complications.
Avoid Traffic Tickets
It’s not uncommon for drivers to make traffic errors and be issued tickets when traveling in an unfamiliar place. Yet you can reduce the likelihood that you will be issued a traffic citation by taking care to obey all traffic laws and signals. Before driving to Mexico, familiarize yourself with Mexican traffic signs and directions. Also, always keep a couple copies of your Mexican insurance. You should always keep on in your car, but it makes sense to keep a copy back in your hotel room or rental too.
Traffic tickets can happen to anyone so try not to let them ruin your plans. You can usually quickly take care of them in the city or town where you obtain them, but in many cases you can even mail in your fine. Be sure to drive with your Driver’s License at all times too which is a legal requirement.