Traffic rules and regulations in Spain
Whilst all drivers, well we sincerely hope so, are away of the highway code and general driving regulations in their own country often they forget them or ignore them when in a foreign country such as British people living or just driving on holidays in Spain. In addition to the general rules of the road some countries have their own rules and Spain is no exception.
As a simple example, if you park badly i.e. over two marked out spaces, or sideways across two spaces or even on the end of a row of marked out spaces where there are no markings, you would be considered to have parked illegally as you would be causing an obstruction. Now many people will consider this to be a private car park, think Asda, Tesco etc, here in Spain the likes of Carrefour, Mercadona, Lidl etc, the owner of the car park is actually Carrefour who in turn permits its customers to use it, making it land being used by an indeterminate community of users, it is not a public car, which would be where anyone could have access to park. As such whilst they are private car parks, Spanish law applies and the local police can be called or indeed act on their own imitative and an infraction or fine be given for parking illegally or dangerously. This however only applies during their opening hours and when the shop is shut to the public and it closes its barriers or garage doors from that time until reopening the rules change and those authorised to use it during these hours would NOT BE subject to Spanish Traffic laws! So, you should bear in mind that the use of your mobile phone in such car parks whilst still driving or not wearing your seatbelt, means that you COULD find yourself in hot water with no recourse.
Turning now to the event of an accident the normal thing is that both parties, provided there are no injuries sustained, would leave their vehicles and start a discussion, sometimes heated, as to who was to blame. If you do this without putting on your reflective jacket, placing warning triangles and moving vehicles if possible to a safe place, these three actions or lack of them are considered serious offences, so be aware and be warned.
All drivers should drive with due care and attention or as it is described in Spanish with diligence and caution in order to avoid damage to themselves and other road users. Of course, it is an infraction subject to a fine or worse if you drive in a negligent or reckless manner. Under Spanish Traffic laws the interpretation of negligence is careless or lack of care and is a serious infraction. Reckless driving is when a driver is shown to be aware of his or her actions , with the knowledge that their actions may endanger their own safety and that of other road users included in this are pedes-trians .If a serious offence is committed it will become a criminal offence and points will be affected.
One thing that is particularly important here is when someone throws a lit cigarette end out of a window, this is considered a serious offence with the potential to lose four points from one’s licence. Notwithstanding that if it is done in the summer months it can easily cause fires es-pecially in the Teide National Park .