the following appeared in a local paper
IF YOU DON’T READ THIS YOU WILL REGRET IT
Drivers, let me give you a typical scenario of what is happening out there. You are an average driver traveling down the motorway. You are aware of the summer months and the increase of motorists in the zone so you are driving carefully and you are not speeding. You pass a camera and you think you are going 120 km per hour because that’s what your speedometer reads. However, you are actually going 121 (according to the police radar). Guess what? You just got a fine of 100 euros. Oh, and don’t worry about the points being taken off because they don’t consider that to be a problem as long as you pay. All the while, the driver is unaware that he just got fined, so he continues down the road traveling at what he thinks is the speed limit. Parked along the side of the road is an unmarked police vehicle, which clocks the driver going 122 and guess what? Another fine! Wait, it gets worse…still the driver is unaware that they did anything wrong until weeks later when the fines come in the post. That’s if they even get post. Remember, how I stated in previous articles the importance of having your correct postal address on your car docs, well, here is where this plays into the equation. Remember, zero tolerance is in force now. So, lets say the driver is lucky enough to receive their post. One day a notification comes which is, of course, in Spanish from the DGT. It is not the fine as you would think, no, it’s a notification requesting you to identify yourself as the driver in question or to give details of the driver at the time of the offence. You don’t think much about getting this notice because you don’t understand it, and, it doesn’t look like a fine, so the notice is simply ignored. If you don’t reply to this letter you will also be fined up to an additional 300 euros per notification. Since the driver got two fines on the same day two notifications were sent out so now you have to pay 600 euros plus your fines that still haven’t even been received, which is an additional 100 euros per offence.
Bearing in mind that the driver still thinks he has done nothing wrong. This driver drives the same route every day, which means it is possible that he gets a fine every day he is driving, if he is not going UNDER the speed limit. We are getting calls everyday about this.
Ok, I cannot believe that there are not more reporters covering the news about the changes in traffic laws in Spain and how it will affect you. Perhaps the reason is due to the language barrier because there is nothing written in English, or perhaps the fact that even the Spanish press has buried this story. I am passionate about writing this story because it really disturbs me to see such blatant attempts by the Spanish government to increase revenue under the guise of public road safety. If their hopes were to gain a society of paranoid drivers, then they surely are succeeding. I want to warn as many people as I can because it’s simply not fair for Spain to act like a lone cowboy when so much funding is received from the EU. Spain has once again gone against the recommendations of EU when it comes to speeding fines. Other member states adhere to guidelines when it comes to giving motorists a little room for error in their speedometre readings. Spain crudely reformed their traffic laws not to allow for that error. Moreover, it appears that Expats are deliberately being targeted, as are hire vehicles.
As well as getting fined for speeding offences, you will be fined a minimum of 100 euros for even the most minor offence, which includes not signaling correctly and driving too close to the vehicle in front. If you are a non resident please keep 100 euros cash with you every time you are out driving as, if you are fined, and do not have cash you will be escorted to the nearest cash point to withdraw the money. We have been getting reports from people who have tried to speak to the police to contest what they have been accused of or simply to find out exactly what the offence is that they have committed and the police are getting annoyed and increasing the fine on the spot! My colleague was driving in San Javier, when a Guardia Civil policeman jumped out from behind a tree, this is absolutely true. There was one on each side of the road with their bikes parked in the bushes, hiding behind trees waiting to pounce. We have had a call from one man who was a non-resident here on holiday and was told that he had 10 days to exchange his UK licence for a Spanish licence. This is against the law, and they cannot make you do this. If you are a non-resident then you are allowed to drive in Spain using your UK licence. This is also the case if you are a resident but I have been hearing rumours (as yet unconfirmed by the British Consulate) that for more serious speeding offences, an officer can require you to change your UK licence for a Spanish licence. You have been warned!