DRIVING on some of Spain’s roads can be a stressful experience at the best of times.
Having made it home safely in one piece, the last thing you want is to have your day ruined by a letter from the DGT, Spain’s traffic enforcement agency.
While fines for common transgressions, such as speeding, are known, the Spanish highway code has a long list of other offences that could leave you in hot water with the authorities.
Here are five lesser-known things to avoid in order to ensure you don’t receive an unwelcome fine.
LOW EMISSION ZONES
A new introduction to Spanish law, it is now illegal to drive in some Low Emission Zones (LEZs) without a relevant permit.
With LEZs becoming more common throughout Spanish cities, drivers will have to keep up to date – while each LEZ is run by its own municipal authority, a baseline fine of €200 has been set by the DGT.
You can find out the LEZ laws in your region on the RACE website by clicking here.
It’s not just the person in the driver’s seat who should keep a keen eye on traffic laws – passengers should, too.
Infractions, whether kissing the driver or not doing up your seatbelt, are a significant cause of accidents and also a way (albeit rare) to lose a chunk of cash.
Kissing or arguing heavily while driving can bring fines of €80 if police believe they caused a significant enough distraction behind the wheel.
Even the most benign, everyday actions could lead to a telling off from the cops.
Eating whilst driving is not considered to be conducive to safe driving and could result in a hefty fine, so make sure your hunger is satisfied before starting your journey.
In fact if a driver is caught eating or drinking they could be fined €80, which jumps to €200 if traffic police believe other passengers or road users were placed in danger.
PIMPING YOUR RIDE
If you decorate your car with unauthorised items, it’s not just your mates who will be laughing at your expense – the DGT will too, having pocketed 500 of your hard-earned euros.
These decorations include anything that changes the measurements of your car without having notarised the DGT beforehand.
Decoration could also lead to problems with passing your MOT.
Additionally, placing items like dream catchers on your rear view mirror, can land you a fine of up to €200 as they can partially block your view.
If running out of fuel hadn’t already ruined your day, being fined under Spain’s somewhat under-used ‘Improper Parking’ legislation would really tip you over the edge.
Make sure to get your fuel from legitimate sources too, as improperly transporting fuel results in a fine of up to €3,000. Ouch!
Penalties for the most common driving infringements – failure to wear a seatbelt and using a mobile phone – have recently been strengthened.
These offences will now see four points docked off your licence, on top of a fine, so make sure to take care on the roads.