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motoupdateOCT2009

  

  

MOTORING IN SPAIN   UPDATE PAGE, October 2009.

First of all sorry to readers for a gap from the last update as we have moved home during July and August.  Back to normal now though.  The summer is over thank God and all the crazy drivers seem to have gone home again now.  I cannot understand why a small percentage of holiday, and some others I guess, drivers seem intent on leaving their cars on holiday and sometimes their lives.

 

Trafico reports that the two leading causes of accidents on Spain's roads are speeding and drinking and driving.  Both can be considered pre-meditated crimes especially as with the former. 80% of accidents are reported to  not involve another vehicle showing how inept these drivers must be.  I know that when my wife and I travel some distance, often we will have a driver behind trying to keep up with me, and I am not racing or even driving over the speed limits, and they often go over the other side of the road even if there are double white lines at those points.  It is not that I drive too fast, I take a pride in driving safely but taking the correct lines and using only my side of the road.  Perhaps the Fourth Edition should have some pages devoted to such driving techniques.  My rapid but safe progress seems to cause some drivers, especially younger ones or some in powerful 4x4s or German luxury cars etc,  to try and keep up with me through the twisty sections for I avoid breaking speed limits, in our Ford Focus which as the owner, I know it is excellent at cornering safely.  Why break speed limits.  My many years of riding motorcycles fast especially while on the race tracks or cross country (including moto-cross especially while working in the USA for two years, means that in my mind I have nothing more to prove.   As the saying goes, been there and got the trophies (and the T-shirts) as well as news-paper cuttings.

As for drinking and driving, my attitudes to such drivers are expressed with horror for they are a menace to all road-users including themselves but we have too many alcoholics driving around who should be banned for life before they kill someone as many do.  Even some "manufactured" celebrities have criminal records in this respect.  Some role models!

 ______________________________________________________________________

Zero Tolerance for speeding promised early 2010.

Trafico has announced that from next Spring 2010, probably for Easter (Semana Santa) the tolerance for going over the posted speed limits is no longer to apply.  Currently, allowances are made for vehicle speedometer errors by as much as 5% so in a 120 kph limit, you can go up to about 130 kph without triggering the radar camera.

This is to stop as Trafico is to get tough with drivers who are abusing the current limits and the table below shows the expected new limits and penalties.  The motoring organisations such as the RACC, AA, etc. are petitioning the government as they consider that the new limits are draconian and unfair but as I have already written, speeding is number one cause of crashes on the roads in Spain with a reported 80% of them not involving another vehicle.   As usual, it is the inept few that spoil it for the majority,.

The intention is perhaps to get all drivers to drive at below the speed limit as indicated on their vehicle instruments so they cannot be accused of speeding, but as I have written in my newspaper columns, most new cars for years have speedometers that over-read at speeds over 50 kph, so at 120 kph on the vehicle speedo, according to car magazine reports/tests,  the true speed is say only 114 kph.   In the UK they must be accurate at 50 kph (30 mph)

Personally, I am now glad that our humble Focus has a cruise control device.

Changes to SPEEDING FINES in 2010. 

START Date to be announced.

CURRENT TABLE USED UP TO SPRING 2010.

 Current table of speeds and fines in Euros (last column)

 Posted Speed Limit - kph>

 30

 40

 50

 60

 70

 80

 90

 100

 110

 120

 Fine Amount (Euros)

 seriousness of excess -

 41 -60

 51 - 70

 61 - 80

 71 - 90

 81 - 100

 91 - 110

 101 - 120

 111 - 130

 122 - 141

 133 - 152

 100

 speed amount (kph).

 61 - 70

 71 - 80

 81 - 90

 91 - 100

 101 - 110

 111 - 120

 121 - 130

 131 - 140

 142 - 151

 153 162

 140

 This block Serious (Grave)

  

 101 - 105

 111 - 120

 121 - 130

 131 - 140

 141 - 150

 152 - 161

 163 172

 200

 131 - 135

 141 - 150

 151 - 160

 162 - 181

 173 198

 300

 This row, Very serious 

 71 - 77

 81 - 87

 91 - 97

 106 - 112

 121 - 128

 136 - 143

 151 - 158

 166 - 174

 182 - 190

 199 - 208

 380

 (Muy Grave).

 78 - 84

 88 - 94

 98 - 104

 113 - 119

 129 - 136

 144 - 151

 159 - 166

 175 - 183

 190 - 199

 209 - 218 

 450

 85

 95

 105

 120

 137

 152

 167

 184

 200

 219

 520

TABLE TO BE USED FROM SPRING 2010 (Date to be advised)

 Posted Speed Limit - kph>

 30

 40

 50

 60

 70

 80

 90

 100

 110

 120

 Fine Amount (Euros)

 Lost points

 seriousness of excess -

 31 - 50

 41 - 60

 61 -90

 71 - 100

 81 - 110

 91 - 120

 101 - 130

 111 - 140

 111 - 140

 121 - 150

 100

 nil

 speed amount (kph).

 51 - 60

 61 - 70

 71 - 80

 91 - 110

 101 - 120

 111 - 130

 121 - 140

 131 - 150

 141 - 160

 151 - 170

 300

 2

 This block Serious (Grave)

 61 - 70

 71 - 80

 81 - 90

 101 - 120

 111 - 130

 121 - 140

 131 - 150

 141 - 160

 151 - 170

 171 - 180

 400

 4

 71 - 80

 81 - 90

 91 - 100

 121 - 130

 131 - 140

 141 - 150

 151 - 160

 161 - 170

 171 - 180

 181 - 190

 500

 6

 This row, Very serious 

 81+

 91 +

 101 +

 131 +

 141 +

 151 +

 161 +

 171 +

 181 +

 191 +

 600 + 60 days -

 6

 (Muy Grave).

 suspension of licence

When this new system is confirmed, I will advise with the definite figures after chatting with my favourite Guardia Civil patrolman.  Remember that with the current crisis, all entities are very short of cash so they are looking to increase income by any means and this applies everywhere in Europe.

 ____________________________________________________________________________________

Mandatory MEDICALS FOR EXPAT RESIDENTS CONFIRMED AS CORRECT - AT LAST.

After nearly five years of my advising, in my book, on the monthly radio spot on Talk Radio Europe (was REM.FM) and local Mijas TV and  in my newspaper columns, the importance of expats who are resident here and use a foreign EU driving licence legally having to take the periodical medicals, I have finally got through to all concerned who should know better but were preaching the opposite. The law applies throughout the EU and to all nationalities.

Those preaching the opposite included insurance companies as well as Spanish based brokers/agents, some British consular staff and, of course,the many visitors to the bars where the expats hang out with those who think that wishing the need away will mean they are not necessary.

Well dear readers it has again been confirmed after my persistent naggings and even the web page for the British Consul in Alicante is now updated to show the facts.

So depending on your age and when you passed your driving test, you may need to take an official medical and carry the receipt with you in your vehicle otherwise your driving licence will be deemed to have expired.  The facts, and how to, are all in my book

As some expats, who were asked for their official spanish medical receipts  have discovered at great cost already after an accident where someone was injured and a Court case followed, it can be very expensive and stressful to not have a current legal driving licence.

  

i first warned of this need inApril 2005, so it is a shame that others who should know better, especially as I advised some of them, did not check thoroughly as I did. 

Professionally, a disgrace, I would say.

 _________________________________________________

Trafico Web-Site medical clinics Address page for Spain.

The following link (please cut and paste) goes to the page where all the Centros de Reconcimientos where you can take a medical for your driving licence are located.  Remember to take the necessary documentation with you (as listed in my book) as many of these clinics can now attend to the sending of it to your local Trafico so you will be sent your new driving licence by post if you have a Spanish one

Those readers with e.g legal UK licences, keep the receipt with your photo on it as proof you have taken the mandatory medical. 

 http://www.dgt.es/portal/es/oficina_virtual/dir_telefonos/centros_rec_conductores/?tit=%BFD%F3nde%20se%20puede%20solicitar?

 __________________________________________________________________________________________

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