police preying on rental cars

Discussion in 'Cancun Forum' started by Ron in South Texas, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. Carlosst

    Carlosst Newbie Registered Member

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    Hi Michelle
    Perhaps you were the lucky one. I have been going to Cancun for 15 years. I was definiely targeted one night in the hotel zone. I was driving a rental car and following two cars. The road was under construction and traffic was slow. Transito pulled me over and claimed i was speeding. I said how could i be speeding when i was following two cars going about 25 MPH? They wanted to write me a ticket and take my lic. I would need to come to the station to pay the fine and get it back. OR........ I could pay them. It was a Friday, i was leaving on Sat. I could not get the lic until Monday. I gave them 150 peso's and was on my way. If you want to see a lot of these stories just ask. Also take a look on other forums.
    God Bless
    carlosst
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

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    Best thing to do is insist you take the ticket, 9 times out of 10 they will back down and send you on your way. Processing a ticket takes their time up, time they could otherwise spend harassing people who will willingly pay a bribe. Also they cannot take your (foreign) licence it is Government property... although I appreciate it is not necessarily an easy thing to demand your licence back in that situation.

    In 5 years of living in Cancun, between my wife and myself, we have been stopped 5 times for minor offences such as speeding or jumping lights. Some we were guilty some not but we've never paid a bribe and never had a ticket yet.

    The only ticket I have had was when I returned to my car one day to find a ticket on the windscreen for a parking violation. We paid the ticket quickly and it wasn't that much hassle, cost was around $6 US.
     
  3. coby

    coby Regular Registered Member

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    The 307 from Cancun to Tulum story is shady to me -- I'm routinely on that road in some form or another, including driving a rental car.

    Does driving a rental car make you a target? Well, it makes you a more obvious target, but even more obvious than that is when people don't follow the rules of the road -- notably speed. From Cancun to Tulum the speed limit changes all the time and there are often cops in the vicinity of these speed changes. The place where I see the most people pulled over is when you cross into the Solidaridad municipality, even though there's a little police hut there and always cops around.

    I've only been pulled over once here and it was in a rental car, but I was speeding -- not by much and I was actually slowing down. The exchange between the officer and myself was basically just telling me to be more mindful of my speed. Very courteous and very short. This officer was probably an exception, but of 3 mordida attempts I've been around (all as a passenger) 2 ended with the officer letting us go and the other ended with a 100 peso exchange (must to my disdain.)
     
  4. rodman4085

    rodman4085 Enthusiast Registered Member

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    Drive the speed limit, and keep an eye on the side of the road for changes......also, in rental cars, they are putting this placard.....I copied it from another forum, Laura the Mapchick posted this.
    As it turns out, my one day rental last Feb from Zipp rentacar had one of those cards, but I gave a Cancun cop 200 pesos to let us out of town...we were headed to Tulum from the Casa Maya, and he claimed I was speeding, was not, should not have paid him....but....he had my D.L., so another thought is to go to your local DMV and get a duplicate made. Go in with your passport for identification, tell them your wallet was stolen, that way you have a back up......:cool014:
    Photo 3 of 3, My Favorite Mexico pics
     
  5. v8eyedoc

    v8eyedoc Regular Registered Member

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    Over the past 20 years....I have been "targeted" 3 out of 4 times both by the "traffic policia" and at two gas stations.....!!

    Way back when...I was stopped just after pulling out of a resort in the HZ and the guy claimed that I had gone thru a red light..!! Like I don't know the difference between rojo y verde..!! He demanded my DL and also 200 pesos... I should have tested his knowledge of the English language, at this point..and used a few "choice words"....but....my wife was with me.so I complied..and he tipped his hat to me, smiled and placed the $$ in his pocket..!! We were on our way to Playa.

    Returning - along Rte 307 years ago, there were few gas stations and I wanted to return the car with a full tank..so we stopped at a gas station...where 3 man approached the car...1 to pump the gas -another to clean the windows and another to "manipulate the pump".....!!!:aktion052: He then told me what I owed him..and when I looked at the total on the pump..it read -$00.00....!!! I told him that he had not pumped any gas and that I was not going to pay him one centavo..!!! I was absolutely livid...!! Screwed outa $20.00 by a scumbag cop in the morning and now...3 morons at a gas station!!! I already had my keys back in my hand..! HIS MISTAKE! I flipped him a peso coin and told him and his asshole friends to keep the change....!!!!

    On another occasion with a rental car, just a few years back..I was refueling and with newer gas pumps..they can manipulate the TOTAL fee by pressing a keypad on the pump..(?)..He said 300 pesos...and I paid him..cause the pump read 300 pesos....!! As I got back in the car, a pick-up truck pulled in front of me - blocking my way - and a woman got out and approached me...."How much did you just give this man..??" She identified herself as being from a govt agency - and then proceeded to question the man who had pumped the gas..!! HE WAS SCARED!! THEN....she demonstrated to me how the total price for your fuel can easily be changed...."LOOK AT THE # OF LITERS PUMPED!!!!".....She told me....!! The total for my fuel was only 150 pesos....and she demanded that this thief return my money.....which he did..!! I thanked her very much!!

    As far as removing any stickers from a rental car to avoid being targeted by either police or gas station attendants...IT AIN'T GONNA WORK....!!! I had no rental car stickers on either of the cars I had rented...!!! THE LICENSE PLATES FOR RESIDENTS ARE MARKED "PRIVADO" - Rental cars have another type of plate....!!!

    My last "episode" WAS.....my fault.... I had a rental motor scooter and was not aware of the helmet laws in Cancun...and was stopped by the traffic police - once more! - 100 pesos, this time and I was on my way! Can't say that I blame the "poor" traffic police....!! Sine the city pays them $65.00/week (American)....so we have to subsidize the city payroll...!! :icon_smile: A mesero.....makes more at a good resort than the traffic police..!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  6. Turquoise water

    Turquoise water Enthusiast Registered Member

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    My advise is that is you are on vacation leave the driving to the locals. Take a taxi or a bus. The bus is like 60 pesos and not to mention it is fun!! There is plenty of transportation if needed. I have thought about renting a car before, but after the daily grind and commute, I am just ready to just sit back and let someone else do the driving.
     
  7. V

    V I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    They do simply want your money. They don't want you, your license, your car, your wife, or anything else you might actually care about. Those that are dishonest in this way don't want to waste their time actually enforcing the traffic laws, either.

    Don't let them have your money. Just be patient, play dumb, wait them out- look relaxed, as if you have all the time in the world. Get out and smoke a cigarette, if you're a smoker: they'll get the message that you're not going to be easy, and move on to the next pigeon.

    If you decide to make the problem go away by doing something you wouldn't do back home, like offering money to a police officer, you have committed a corrupt act- illegal here, just as it is back home- and you contribute to a problem others are working hard to solve.
     
  8. Life_N_Cancun

    Life_N_Cancun Guest

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    Not sure where you got that number, but last I heard a while back the starting police salary had be bumped up to around $8000 pesos a month...

    Regardless of what they are paid, it is not any sort of justification or excuse for extorting/robbing people. Not getting paid what I want doesn't make it acceptable to take from others. Extortion by threats of arrest under the guise of authority is no different than the threat of violence an armed robber uses when waving a gun at you! IMHO. Sadly its one of those things that I dont see ending anytime soon. If they were serious about trying to stop it they would install video cameras in the patrol cars.

    Anyone who is pulled over here needs to stop and look at the vehicle number and name plate, before doing anything. Simply reading his name and greeting him; "Buenos Dias/Tardes oficial (name on tag)" will let him know that you are paying attention and know their name, so they are risking being reported if they mess with you.

    A reason that they prey on tourists more so than locals is the fact the tourists dont know what powers traffic police have (ie: they generally CANT arrest you unless you are intoxicated or commit a serious driving offense, any other more serious crimes would require them to call the "policia preventiva" as their powers are limited to traffic related duties, unlike in the US where police enforce all laws.), tourists tend to have cash on hand, and they tend to not bother reporting bad police behavior. Those things with rare exception ensure that they can operate with some impunity.

    It's especially bad for Cancun, as every time they harass a tourist, that tourist tells everyone they know when they get home, and as a result Mexico loses untold hundreds of millions in tourism every year. I honestly don't understand why the hotel owners and car rental companies don't make greater efforts to put a stop to it, as it affects their bottom lines a great deal and they should realize that.
     
  9. kellygirl

    kellygirl Enthusiast Registered Member

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    Thought I'd make my first post on something close to my heart. We rent often (so often we are going to buy a car, finally), but last month we had a small Chevy from Avis here in PDC, and the little cover over the trunk area was broken and popped up. Sure enough got stopped on the way to Cancun. I greeted the officer by name, he said we had a serious violation because our rear view was blocked, and pretended to write the ticket. I asked how much the ticket would be, he shrugged and said "Oooohh, 800pesos." I asked where to pay, and he shrugged. I told him to write the ticket, that we were going to turn around and go straight to Avis, since the cover was broken, it was their problem, not mine, and they could pay the ticket. He handed me my license and said, have a nice day. Sometimes, all you have to do is call their bluff. He just wanted us to buy him and his buddies an 800peso lunch. Just be respectful. I actually thanked him at the end for looking out for my safety and shook his hand, he liked that.
     
  10. CancunWithMe.com

    CancunWithMe.com Enthusiast Registered Member

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    This topic always makes me laugh.

    In United States, the speed limit at most highways is 65 mph, however people cruise around 75 to 80, and a bit faster at night.

    So in Miami, if you drive 65 mph (the speed limit) at 1 or 2 am, believe you will get pulled over. The fact that you are driving at the speed limit makes you stick out like a sore thumb. If you go at the regular flow of traffic, a cop can pull you over for speeding.

    In USA if you get pulled over, and get the ticket, you can either pay the ticket or go fight it in court. If you fight it, you usually have to take some time off work. So either way, once you get a ticket in USA it ends up costing you one way or another.

    Here in Cancun is similar. Yes we have cops, and yes they do pull people over. I always hear stories of how people got pulled over for no reason, but I personally have never seen it. Yes rental cars have a higher chance to get pulled over, but they are not targeted. If a cop sees 2 cars speeding, one rental and one local, yes he would probably pull over the rental one.

    One thing that is TOTALLY MADE UP, is that cops "shake" tourists down for money. That is not the case. Cop usually pulls you over, and tells you why he pulled you over. He asks for license and vehicle paperwork. Then he tells you how much the fine would be if you go to the department and pay it the following day, then they hint that you could pay a smaller fine on the spot (bribe). As a driver you have two options, you can either allow the officer to take your license and then go pick it up the following day, or you can pay the "bribe" and forget about it.

    In Mexico, even if you think the cop is wrong, you can pay $5 to $10 and be done with it. In USA even if you think the cop is wrong, he can still write you up a ticket, and then you either have to pay it or go to court. I rather pay the $5 and call it a day.

    Cops in Mexico are relatively lazy, but if they do ask for your drivers license you have to surrender it. If you refuse to, they can inpound the car, arrest you, etc. Granted, more than likely they wouldn't do this, but they CAN, so don't push your luck. It is normal protocol for them to take your license, and have you pick it up the following days after paying your fine.

    There is talk about "anti corruption" laws, but it is all BS. About 2 months ago, a small group of cops went public. They were complaining that they have to pay 300 pesos each shift they work, and 400 pesos if they have a patrol car. The group that was complaining were placed on traffic light duty, so they didn't get to pull over people, hence they didn't get any bribe money, which made it impossible for them to pay their shift fee (Shift fee is called "el cuerno" and goes all the way to the top, some lady).

    Basically it is impossible for a cop not to be corrupt, since his superiors expect their "cuerno".

    To finish off, very few people actually mention the real reason you might not want to rent a vehicle, and that is on the unlikely event that you are in an accident with injuries. I am not a lawyer, and don't know the details, but if you are in an accident where others got injured, you would not be able to leave the country until all financial responsibilities are met. There is usually insurance involved with rental cars, but then there are the limit issues, and who pays first, who gets reimbursed later, etc.

    So lets say you rent a car, then some idiot on a 50 cc scooter pulls up in front of you, you don't see them on time, and end up hitting them. You might end up having to extend your vacation only to take care of all the legal issues.
     
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