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Police banned from using their mobile phones in working hours
29 January 2014 @ 09:57

TRAFFIC police have been warned not to talk on their mobile phones whilst on duty behind the wheel, because it 'sets a bad example' to the public.

Ordinary civilians caught using a mobile – texting, talking or even checking it – when their engine is running, even if they are parked safely, are fined 200 euros and lose three points from their driving licences.

And now, Spain's 8,700 or so traffic coppers are obliged to follow suit.

They will be let off if they have to do so on 'one-off, exceptional occasions' or 'in the event of an emergency'.

“Recently, it has been observed that personal mobile phones are being used to make private calls whilst on duty,” a circular to all officers states.

“This practice has a negative impact on the service provided to the public whilst also distracting officers' attention from their duties.”

The General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) says the circular is merely a warning ahead of any possible disciplinary action.

“Use of a mobile telephone is a general feature of today's society, and we cannot ban officers from going out on their duties with them about their person. We only ask that they make reasonable and logical use of them,” explains the DGT.

“We have no issue with officers using their personal mobile phones in the event of a family problem, but they must not abuse this privilege since it means their full attention is not on their job and they present a poor impression to the public.”

According to the DGT, cases of 'abuse' of this 'privilege' among traffic police are 'isolated incidents' and it does 'not wish to generalise', which is why it sent a memo to everyone rather than singling out individual offenders. 

Read more at thinkSPAIN.com



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