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Fines and road sanctions in Spain 

There are many laws and rules that have implications for either fines or sanctions and in this issue we are going to cover some of them.

Some of the issues concern things that are very obvious such as using a mobile phone whilst driving and using radar detector devices.

Using a mobile phone either normally or on speaker phone is illegal as it causes the driver to be distracted from other vehicles around them and potential road hazards , i.e. lane closures, accidents, pedestrians etc. to name but a few. The in-ear devices, although previously permitted are no longer legal and the only legal method to use a mobile phone is by the use of blue tooth connection, which is the method used by police and which is built into their helmets. This offence carries a 200 euro fine and the loss of 3 points from your licence. The best thing to do is to ignore your phone while driving, set it to silent or turn it off and return any calls when you stop. This type of distraction is one of the major causes for road traffic collisions as even a second’s distraction whilst driving can be fatal.

The use of Radar Detectors, although not a common occurrence in our experience here in Tenerife will result in a fine of 6000 euros, and a loss of six points from your licence. This fine does not have any discount available as most others do if paid within the specific time limit, so beware if you have one, it could be a very costly experience. Some of the newer GPS devices have information which shows the drivers where fixed cameras are located and as this information is provided directly and freely from the DGT its intention is to encourage drivers to slow down. This information shown on such devices IS permitted and does not incur any fine or sanction. The fine for the improper use of a radar detector is 200 euros and again a loss of three points. As with the use of mobile phones the aim is to reduce accidents and subsequent casualties.

There are fines for failing to carry the correct Emergency equipment. Currently a fine will be incurred if you are not carrying the mandatory two warning triangles, a reflective jacket for each occupant of the vehicle, a spare wheel along with the necessary tools to change this or a puncture repair kit. It is no longer mandatory for you to carry a spare set of bulbs or a spare set of spectacles, if you wear them; however it is advised to do so for your own safety on the latter item. The fine for the above is 80 euros but there is no point’s loss.

Insecure animals in vehicles. Most responsible and loving animal owners would never dream of taking their pets in the car unless they were secure and safe. Many people drive with animals on their laps or unsecured in the back or front of the vehicle, not only is this dangerous for the animal but could also interfere with your driving. The same applies to animals in cages and boxes which must be safely secured. The fine for failing to do this is 80 euros although no loss of points would apply. Worst of all, as most know animals can be unpredictable, get excited or even nervous and if loose could interfere with the driver’s ability or visibility in the event of a crash, which in turn could cause suffering for the animal or even death.

It is always better to be safe rather than sorry and out of pocket!