Instead of sending those convicted of serious traffic violations to jail, Cuenca traffic judges have sentenced more than 800 drivers to perform community service, most involving removal of graffiti from public buildings.
Ecuador traffic law prescribes jail to speeders, drunk drivers and those driving on bald tires but allows judges to commute sentences for some violators to performing public duties.
According to the Cuenca transportation office, EMOV, 827 traffic violators have been assigned community service since the beginning of the year. The decision is left to judges, who typically send drunk drivers caught with high levels of blood alcohol and those driving a “highly excessive speeds” to jail.
“Many of those with lesser violations prefer community service, which allows them to remain with their families and perform duties for the public good,” says an EMOV spokesman, who explains that violators work alongside members of citizen brigades to remove graffiti and clean roadways and sidewalks. Some violators are assigned to public schools to provide various cleaning services.
A recent assignment was cleaning graffiti from the Colegio Benigno Malo on Av. Solano.