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Roadway Carnage, Traffic Accidents, and Death Toll [An Ongoing Saga As Occurring]

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Continue to see people’s complaints on social media about vehicles being ‘improperly’ towed by the Police.

A car can be towed for any of the following reasons.

  • No. 8.   Mechanical defects or body damage
  • No. 12  Vehicles without a valid Plate
  • No. 28  No Drivers License
  • No. 29  Permitting an unlicensed driver to operate the vehicle
  • No. 30  Refusing to stop when obligated
  • No. 34  Providing unauthorized public transport
  • No. 34* Providing unauthorized public transport on the Corredores
  • No. 46  Driving while intoxicated
  • No. 61  Abandoning a vehicle on a public highway 
  • No. 65  Parking in a spot reserved for the Disabled
  • No. 68  Street racing
  • No. 70  No Insurance document
  • No. 64  Improperly parked vehicle

 

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Traffic deaths reach 37 as Carnival looms

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AN UNIDENTIFIED woman,  aged about 50, hit by a pickup in Linda Vista, San Miguelito, on Tuesday morning, February  6, was the 12th pedestrian to be killed in a traffic incident this year, and the 37th  traffic fatality, an average of one a day.
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La Prensa cartoonist Low’s take on Carnival

Traffic authorities are concerned that the figure could rise sharply this weekend during  Carnival as scores of thousands of vehicles head for the interior for the four-day celebration. There will be strong security measures to monitor speeding and impaired drivers.

Hospitals and emergency will be on green alert.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/traffic-deaths-reach-37-carnival-looms

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There were plenty of Tránsito Police and several Transit Authority inspection checkpoints on the highway coming from Panama today. They are ramping up for the Carnaval long weekend. 

The word is that the Caldera checkpoint has been very hard on drinking drivers returning from David late at night and during the early hours of the morning lately. Lots of towing.

 

Edited by Keith Woolford

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On 2/8/2018 at 8:37 PM, Keith Woolford said:

There were plenty of Tránsito Police and several Transit Authority inspection checkpoints on the highway coming from Panama today. They are ramping up for the Carnaval long weekend. 

The word is that the Caldera checkpoint has been very hard on drinking drivers returning from David late at night and during the early hours of the morning lately. Lots of towing.

Background:

When Marcelyn and I travel to PC by auto, we make a game of counting the number of police checkpoints for checking for the speeding (and other unsafe) drivers. Up until late 2017, we typically would see four to as many as about eight checkpoints. That number reflects the number of checkpoints, NOT the number of police, as some checkpoints may have two or three police at the ready. Then in December 2017 we broke a record with 27 checkpoints.

Current Story:

We returned from PC late yesterday (Friday, February 9th), and broke the previous record by more than double. We counted 56 (!) checkpoints. They were on both sides of the roadway, and the impression we got was that they were wanting their abundant presence known to all. As Keith posted, this obviously is to help minimize the carnage during the Carnavales period that is beginning now.

We were stopped twice yesterday to check us out in more detail. One of those checkpoints -- at the inspection stop at Guaybalá -- was a bit frustrating because it involved about a 35 minute stop. They had about a 2 KM backup on the westbound roadway (that included us). We presumed that they had some kind of incident going on, because for about 20 of those 35 minutes no one was moving. And then the queue slowly began moving.

When we were positioned third in the queue, the police did ask the driver and occupants of the vehicle then undergoing review to exit their vehicle and then they opened all the doors and were extremely thorough looking in, around, and under that vehicle. Eventually the occupants returned to their vehicle and departed without incident.

As we started our turn at the gauntlet, we encountered both police as well as immigration officials. The police asked for driver license and were looking intently inside of our vehicle. We were not asked for insurance or other documentation (e.g., registration, etc.) by the police officer. Then the immigration officer swapped positions with the police officer and the first words spoken were to present our passports. (We obviously look like gringos, natch.) Instead we both presented our cedulas, and everything was in order.

Both the police officer and the immigration officer were professional and polite -- but very meticulous and thorough. The driver license and the cedula were carefully read, not just glanced at.

Our second encounter with more than just a wave and "adelante" was on the Gualaca/Caldera bypass (we don't go through David). Their location was just a few kilometers from the commercial truck weigh station. This again was a full stop, but fortunately the queue was considerably shorter. Driver license was requested, and it was scanned by a smartphone, and then apparently a database was being queried. There were two policemen in the roadway center, plus two police vehicles, one on either side of the road, with another police officer standing by each. They were stopping both directions and thoroughly checking a database. No one was being waved on through without having been checked.

Not complaining here. In fact, we are kinda pleased to see that public safety resources are making their presence well known. The only bad side of our experiences yesterday was to lose about 45 minutes to waiting, thus delaying our arrival at our home.

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39 Panama traffic deaths this year

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AN unidentified woman was hit and killed on Via Espana in Rio Abajo on Friday morning, February 9   a day after another woman was run down in Parque Lefevre.

The two deaths, bring the total of traffic fatalities this year to 39, with 14 of them pedestrians.

Traffic accidents took the lives of 412 people in 2017,  24 less than the previous year but still disproportionately high in a country of only some four million people. Thirty of the deaths were recorded as hit and run.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/39-panama-traffic-deaths-year

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Police and tow trucks hit Carnival drivers jackpot

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BY EARLY afternoon on Sunday, February 11,  the National Traffic Operations Directorate of the National Police, had handed out  2, 416 tickets, of which 115 were for proven impaired driving and  549 for speeding.

Some 222 vehicles were towed . while  119 traffic accidents left   30 people injured, several seriously, and one person was killed . on the Panamericana highway,  in Arraiján, Panamá Oeste bringing the year’s traffic death toll to 40.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/police-tow-trucks-hit-carnival-drivers-jackpot

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One dead 30 injured on first Carnival day  

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A 25-yeqrs-old man was run over and killed in Arriajan
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One person was killed and 30 injured in 119 traffic accidents on the first day of Operation Titan 2018:”Safe Summer at Carnivals” as over 82,000 vehicles left Panama City for the interior said a Joint Task Force report issued on Saturday. Feb 10.

Thousands of driving offence tickets were handed out by the National Police, including scores for impaired driving.

The Aeronaval Service (Senan) rescued three people, two Panamanians and one Colombian. west of Punta Coco who had been shipwrecked.

The Civil Protection  Service (Sinaproc), rescued eight people including a child under 11 years on the beach at Santa Clara after she had been dragged away by a current.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/one-dead-30-injured-first-carnival-day

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I have never been asked for a “spot tax” in my 5 years here.  Been stopped plenty of times, usually just to check my licence, a lot of the time I am just waved through.  I do have a pretty good rapport with the local check point guys and give them cold water and cookies every now and again.  The head of the police in dolega knows I am a retired copper and has dropped in once or twice for help in getting repairs done to various police vehicles.  I have no problem with that and consider it community service

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On 2/8/2018 at 8:37 PM, Keith Woolford said:

There were plenty of Tránsito Police and several Transit Authority inspection checkpoints on the highway coming from Panama today. They are ramping up for the Carnaval long weekend. 

The word is that the Caldera checkpoint has been very hard on drinking drivers returning from David late at night and during the early hours of the morning lately. Lots of towing.

 

To expand on the above, nothing can be expired. Please check that the info on your policy is correct. A lady got towed for a typo on her policy. Also, many don't know that you will get towed after driving past 90 days on your tourist visa. For tourist having copies rather than having your original passport can get you towed.

 

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Pedestrians seem not to realize how blinding the sun can be for eastbound drivers in the early hours of the morning.

A fatality was recorded in David this morning around 7:00 a.m. when someone crossing the PanAmerican on foot was tossed by a vehicle.

 

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Two dead in  Carnival traffic accidents

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TWO PEOPLE died in traffic accidents in the first two full days of Carnival, one in the district of Arraiján and the latest one in Herrera.  Robinson Ruiz, approximately 40 years old, in Herrera,  was killed in a hit and run incident in the village of Parita at 8 o’clock on Sunday night. February 11.

According to Transit Police reports  Ruiz died instantly due to the strong impact he suffered. His death brings traffic fatalities this year to 41

On Saturday night, in the district of Arraiján, an unidentified man was hit and killed by a sedan-type vehicle in the Cerro Silvestre sector, when he tried to cross the four lanes of the highway.

The Joint Task Force (FTC) reported that during Carnival Monday there were 81 traffic accidents nationwide with 45 injured and one fatal victim (Herrera).

Traffic police have urged pedestrians to use safety lines and pedestrian bridges when crossing roads.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/two-dead-carnival-traffic-accidents

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Caution. 9D3C90FC-A810-4DEE-B6E7-A0489AADB1C5.thumb.jpeg.1586f95812cf1523109ab38168623588.jpeg

Someone is upside down in the median on the Via Boquete near the turnoff for Potrerillos.

Another Chevy. The driver of this one says he was hit by a horse ?.

At least he didn’t take out any electrical power poles.

 

Edited by Keith Woolford
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10 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

The driver of this one says he was hit by a horse ?.

I'll bet the horse did not have on its lights and did not use its blinking turn signals, and so this is entirely logical.

This has to be true because no one could make this stuff up.

Sorry, I just have to be cynical about these reports. O.o Was the horse seriously hurt? Hopefully not as much as the vehicle and the driver's ego.

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11 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

Caution. 9D3C90FC-A810-4DEE-B6E7-A0489AADB1C5.thumb.jpeg.1586f95812cf1523109ab38168623588.jpeg

Someone is upside down in the median on the Via Boquete near the turnoff for Potrerillos.

Another Chevy. The driver of this one says he was hit by a horse ?.

At least he didn’t take out any electrical power poles.

 

 

xDxDxD      Thanks, Keith!

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Carnival brought bumper crop of tickets

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POLICE MONITORING some 152,055 vehicles on the road for Carnival festivities handed out a bumper crop of 13,077 tickets for driving infractions, the majority for speeding and impaired driving.

There were 505 accidents resulting in 163 people injured according to a report of the Joint Task Force (FTC) at a Thursday, February 15 press conference,

Over one million people attended celebrations in the interior with 400,000 traveling by bus from Albrook terminal.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/carnival-brought-bumper-crop-tickets

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One killed 10 injured in bus collision

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AT LEAST one person was killed and 10 injured in a collision between a bus and a pickup on Friday morning, Jan 16, in Juan Hombron, Cocle.

the director of the Panama Fire Department, Jaime Villar reported that the 60 seater bus belonged to a private company serving hotels in the beaches area.

The latest incident raises the death toll on Panama highways so far this year to 54.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/one-killed-10-injured-bus-collision

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One dead 45 injured  in bus crashes

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THE PICKUP driver was killrd
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A second traffic accident in 24 hours involving a bus, sent 15 passengers to hospital on Saturday, February 17, bringing the total of injured in two incidents to 45, and one person dead.

The latest accident was on the La Pintada-Panama route when a bus believed to be speeding overturned on the Inter-American highway in San Carlos.

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SPEEDING bus.

The injured were taken to hospitals in La Chorrera, Penonomé, San Carlos and Antón, some of which had received victims of the previous incident, a head-on  collision between a pickup and a bus on Friday morning on the Inter-American Highway, about 200 meters from the entrance of the community of Juan Hombrón, El Chirú, Anton, Coclé.

The 25-year-old driver of the pickup was killed, the bus driver and a passenger seated behind him, were critically injured.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/one-dead-45-injured-bus-crashes

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Third bus accident in five days

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THE THIRD traffic accident in five days involving bus transport was recorded on Sunday, February 18  on the Inter-American Highway, at  San Carlos.

According to early reports, the head-on collision occurred when the driver of a car crossed into the opposite lane and collided with a minibus. At least two people were taken to hospital . bringing the total in three incidents to 47.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/third-bus-accident-five-days

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Two policemen  die in traffic accidents

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An off-duty police sergeant whose car was hit from behind sending him plunging into a river on Friday afternoon, February 23, was the second officer killed in a traffic accident in 10 days.

The previous death was in Colon when a policeman on bicycle patrol was hit by a car.

National Police Sergeant William Nelson Garcia was killed on the Corridor Sur when crossing the bridge over the River Tapia.

After being hit he lost control of the car and it plunged into the river and died on the spot.

A  collision involving a truck and a car in  El Espino, La Chorrera on Saturday morning, February led to the death of the car driver. Authorities are investigating the cause of the accident.

The three incidents bring the total of highway deaths so far this year to 53.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/two-policemen-die-traffic-accidents

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Moderator comment: the bolding and highlighting of text was done on my part.


 

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Improper turn brings 54th highway death

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AN IMPROPER turn by a sedan driver on a busy highway led to a collision with a bus and the death of Orlando Sáenz former director of the Agricultural Development Bank (BDA), in Los Santos in the Martinelli administration.

The incident occurred at 6:30 in the evening of Saturday, February 24 on the Pan-American Highway at the entrance of Chumajal, in Guararé.

Sáenz, the car driver died in instantly, and became Panama’s 54th traffic fatality this year, with five of the deaths in Los Santos.None of the 30 bus passengers was injured.

There are around 120 traffic accidents every day in Panama.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/improper-turn-brings-54th-highway-death

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Interesting statistic, although I don't know how to put it into perspective.  Google tells me that there are over 30,000 traffic accidents in the USA every day. 

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1 hour ago, Uncle Doug said:

Interesting statistic, although I don't know how to put it into perspective.  Google tells me that there are over 30,000 traffic accidents in the USA every day. 

There are 3,794,083 square miles in the U.S.; there are 29,762 square miles in Panama. Just for the sake of perspective.

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2 hours ago, Uncle Doug said:

Interesting statistic, although I don't know how to put it into perspective.  Google tells me that there are over 30,000 traffic accidents in the USA every day. 

 

40 minutes ago, Bonnie said:

There are 3,794,083 square miles in the U.S.; there are 29,762 square miles in Panama. Just for the sake of perspective.

According to my trusty 14-digit printing calculator:

       the USA has 0.007,907,048,949,6 accidents per day per square mile,
whereas Panama has 0.004,031,987,097,6 accidents per day per square mile.

My opinion is that accidents per day per capita would be a more meaningful statistic, to wit:

       the USA has 0.000,092,850,510,6 accidents per day per capita,
whereas Panama has 0.000,029,747,149,2 accidents per day per capita.

P.S., for those who do not know me well, I am known as a numbers guy.

P.P.S., two different fonts were used so as to make the digits line up properly.

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