This page is the first of the update pages for the Third Edition which was issued in early December 2007. By the beginning of February 2008, much of the previous update in this web-site will have been erased as they are in the new Edition book where applicable.
Readers are reminded that also included here are items of general interest that are not updates to the new book. As far as I know, Motoring in Spain is the only book of its type (info. on living in Spain) that has web site updates by the author.
South Africa: 3 000 lose driving licences
This is nothing to do with Spain except that South African licence holders may move to Britain and after one year and exchange their SA licence for a British (EU) one. Frightening isn't it? South Africa's driving test used to be very strict and thorough before 1994.
Date Posted: Thursday 13-Dec-2007
Johannesburg - About 3 000 driving licences had been cancelled during an operation to root out fraud and corruption, said the Department of Transport on Wednesday.
In addition, more than 1 000 people and 70 officials have been arrested during the drive by the national Department of Transport and the special investigating unit (SIU).
Spokesperson Collen Msibi said that 2 792 driver's licences were cancelled during the joint operation.
He said the arrests were linked to the issuing of invalid driving licences. This led to the department committing R20m a year until 2011, towards rooting out corruption.
Msibi said: "The SIU has so far audited close to a million licence files and has identified more than 56 000 invalid driving licences and 2 792 licences that already have been cancelled."
Some have been jailed.
Court proceedings were continuing and so far 600 people and six officials had been convicted and fined up to R9 000. Some were sentenced to five years' imprisonment.
"The department's internal deterrent programme also had yielded impressive results, with 57 officials being disciplined and 42 dismissed.
"The key objective was to identify and cancel invalid licences and also to clamp down on corrupt individuals and officials who were taking part in fraudulent activities within driving licence testing centres."
The SIU had conducted an extensive review of these centres and found 40 to be non-compliant with minimum requirements. These centres were now being upgraded.
Msibi said: "Some of the improvements include the implementation of document-control systems, training filing clerks to comply with the requirements of the National Road Traffic Act and also repairing defective testing equipment."
Source URL: http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_2237648,00.html
Posted By: Carla
INSURANCE COMPANIES MUST PROVIDE COVER EVEN WHEN THE PREMIUM HAS NOT BEEN PAID.
In response to a question in the Costa del Sol News this week (December 20 - 26), Ilagoson Lawyers stated that an insurance company must provide Third Party cover for up to six months after the end of the insured's cover period in the case of an accident where the insured was at fault. Although this may seem a little unfair to the insurance companies, we must remember that every one pays a premium amount on their policy, as explained in the book, to cover accidents caused by uninsured drivers. This is a very important point to remember although in most cases your insurance company would sort this point out for you. It still means though the the deriver was uninsured legally at the time of the accident and will suffer the new penalties which are getting very tough as many drivers were ignoring the older ones.
CARRY A CAMERA WHEN DRIVING!
I have advocated and practice myself, the carrying of a camera in the car or on the bike which will take good quality pictures in the case of an accident. In the book, I stress this point and I have used one when I was involved with a speeding señora to the satisfaction of all except her. Refer to pages 232 - 235, "Anatomy of an Accident". Now I see that one insurance company, IBEX gives away a small kit with a throwaway camera and pen and paper with the accident form in a neat folder to all who sign up with their motor insurance. Good advice and a throwaway camera costs under €10 with flash and 24 photos. It is film, but that allows the photos to be blown up without loss of detail, something most mobile phone cameras cannot do. And hopefully, you will not need to use it; for yourself anyway.
The new heavy penalties for driving offences kick in.
As noted on page 66 in the new book, the stringent penalties for certain offences are now in force, so "watch out". The European Parliament has set targets for the whole EU to reduce road accidents, most of them not being accidents but stupidity. The word accident usually describes an incident that cannot be avoided. You cannot describe such incidents as crashing while using a mobile phone, or while way over the limit for alcohol or after taking illegal drugs as accidents. Nor while speeding at 80 kph in a 30 kph zone with parked cars, pet animals and children likely to be around.
Let us be honest, I have no objections personally to drivers or riders of high powered cars or motos going fast as long as they are sensible. And of course this includes being on fairly empty open roads with no local people likely to be around such as on an autovia. But now, if you are caught exceeding 200 kph on a 120 kph road, it means almost certainly that you will do jail time. The same applies if you are doing 80 kph more than the limit in an urban area. All sensible stuff really to the good drivers. I know that I am fortunate to have survived the many years of especially riding motorcycles at high speeds all over the world, but I always followed basic self-imposed rules such as not following vehicles too close, overtaking when it was not allowed or when I could not see, or just before a road junction.
I know that the good drivers will agree with the above, but from now on in Spain, we have to be very careful to avoid looking sheepishly at the partner on visiting days: - if we get caught.
Most important, as I keep pushing, if you are resident here, make sure your foreign EU driving licence is legal. Take the medicals just in case. They are a legal requirement as noted in the book.
CORRECTION TO PAGE 127 - Motorcycle licences. (27 dec 2007)
Just as the book was going to print, the new classifications for motor-cycle driving licences were briefly announced and to save delaying the process I stated that the fully qualified DL for motorcycles was to be called the A3. It has now been clarified that it is to be just "A". The idea as stated is that to cut accident rates motorcyclists are to be even further restricted to gain time and riding experience from small machines to the powerful large ones, some of which now develop more horse-power that a sporty family car. It seems incongruous that car drivers can pass their test and after the year's probation, if they can afford the insurance costs, are able to get behind the wheel of even a Ferrari. But such is life. The statistics do not warrant such a restriction in this case. The changes from the book are:
A1 as in the book. A2, up to 35 Kw, not 25. A - all over 35 Kw plus the time experience as in the book, or not before age 24 if no 2 years experience on an A2 licence. It is a simple matter to note these in your book, pages 126 & 127.
Update to Third Edition.
"Plan Prever" to fall away. On the 1st January 2008 when the new purchase taxes based on the pollution factor for each car comes into being as on page 253, the system where the government paid the owner of a vehicle which was 10 years or more old since first registration an amount as an incentive for the car to be scrapped to reduce the numbers of old polluting cars on the roads. This system is described on page 255. As the new cars have a built-in incentive with lower taxes for less pollution, Plan Prever is now discontinued.
One of the advantages of having this web site is that changes can be advised almost as soon as they are officially announced so the book is always up to date.