I really did not want to write anything negative about the Yucatan but with so many tourists coming by and reporting thier incidents of happenings with the police I felt compelled to write something. If only to help the travellers that may be coming this way.
A couple of ladies were sightseeing in Campeche city and when arrived at their car found that the plaques had been removed from their car by the police . Why! well they did park illegally by the curbside which was painted yellow. Here in this area, not sure about the rest of Mexico, but if a sidewalk is painted yellow then parking is not permitted.I realize that tourists are not aware of the local laws as such and it catches them with surprise when this happens.
But of course the police, wanting to subsidize their payment, usually ask for money to avoid a report being made and to avoid the guilty party from going to the police station etc.
Someone, who spoke english came to their rescue but he advised them to open their dictionary and place pesos inside so the police would open it and take the money..
This done the police quicky attached the car plates again and off the ladies went only to encouter another police in a smaller town.
the ladies where stopped as they rounded a corner going slow over the speed bump and were told they were driving over the speed limit…………. how they said, when we were driving carefully and slowly over the s peed bump?
Well , said the police you did go over the speed limit………….. he checked their passport,car rental forms took the money and they left again.
This is not just one incident that I have heard of there are lots of stories like this one.
People being stopped for not having a licence plate on the back of their rented vehicle which is against the law……………. so why do the car rentals let the cars leave without liceince plates????
Another favourite is that you went through a red light when you know darn well you didnt!
I heard of one couple on the Riviera Maya paying an on the spot fine of 2,000 pesos?
So I suggest that you do a check list before jumping in your car to head off on your journey.
Check ALL paperwork at the car rental
Make sure your driving licence is up to date and take a photo copy
If the police ask for your licience then hand him over the photo copy and keep your original in your hand.
The same for your passport
If the policeman gets a little perturbed at this just ask him for his number then they usually back down.
I was stopped once coming out of Merida making my way back to Santa Elena . They asked for the prove of ownership etc and I gave him a copy…. Where is the original , he asked. I replied at home in my house. Do you know thats against the law to not have the originals in your car. Yes I said, If I leave the originals in the car someone will steal them.
He looked at me puzzled and said, oh, you think someone would do that? With a smile I said ,yes!
He gave me a knowing look and waved me on with a smile……………..
So try not to feel intimidated and if you dont speak Spanish just keep repeating no entiendo…… They are not all bad cops like anything else with the bad comes the good!
But do be careful not to go down a one way street the wrong way which visitors so often do and be aware of the street signs.
Check them out before heading out and all should be fine
If anyone has had some bad experiences with the police let me know or if anyone had more to add then I would appreciate your comments
photos from Google images