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Motoring Book Updates, September 2006

PENALTY POINTS AND YOUR INSURANCE PREMIUMS

We all should know this, but please be warned that if you lose penalty points, you are expected to advise your insurance company, and you may have a premium increase at the next payment date.  Failure to do so may also mean that a future claim could be either fully or partly refused.   Also, your age may influence the amount of the premium increase, the younger the higher the increase.  Another problem is that while your current company may not refuse you cover (they usually do it with a very high premium if they want to), you may be refused cover with a new company if you want to change, so be careful out there and do not lose points.

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Bill Board seen in the USA.

“If drinking and driving is illegal, why do bars have parking lots?”

Good point!

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HOLIDAY TRAFFIC

Trafico increased (doubled) the numbers of mobile speed cameras on the highways during the holiday periods and the initial results are encouraging where the death rates are lower than last year, except in Malaga Province.     I must admit that we do not venture out much in July and August as the traffic jams amount to grid-lock in many areas.    My wife and I tried to go to Malaga City recently on a Thursday, traditionally our day out, and we got as far as the Torremolinos turnoff after crawling for 4 km. For those living elsewhere we were 3/4 of the way there with about 8 km to go.   We in Andalucia who do not have to drive to work every day in places like Malaga, may not appreciate the lower levels of traffic here out of season, because these current traffic levels are apparently the norm in places like Madrid and Barcelona, etc.  they certainly are when we visit Madrid during a normal working week. 

The mobile speed cameras have been positioned on many of the two way careterras in the last two months, remembering that we have the fixed ones as well which are located as on the Trafico web site map (details are in my web site on ).

The penalty points system "market".   We must have all read about the new scheme where some driving licence holders who no longer drive are offering to say they were the driver of a vehicle that has gone through a camera trap.  These traps only take a snap of the number plate not the driver as well as in some other countries.

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NEW LAWS APPROVED

I have long thought it crazy that quad bike riders are allowed to ride on the public roads without crash helmets, after all, the way some of them ride going around corners with wheels in the air and with no protecting bodywork to stop their heads coming into contact with other vehicles or objects, you would think that from day one, the law would have realised this need.  Anyway, belatedly, the law-makers have and it is now an offence for quad-bike riders and their passengers to use these machines without an approved helmet securely fastened.  One of the major problems with these machines is many are sold for off-road use and then licensed to use on the road with very noisy exhausts.  as we all know, a young driver in or on a noisy vehicle thinks it is a racer and acts accordingly.

The other is the standardisation of the child's seating laws to the EU Directive on the matter. No child under 1,35 m in the front, and seat risers or approved special childs' seats must be used in all vehicles up to nine seats including driver.    If using a vehicle with more than nine seats, if the seat safety belts are fitted, they must be used by all.  All the specifications are covered in the book

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LETTERS TO ROUND TOWN NEWS

For those of you not in the know, I write articles every week for the Round Town News which is a newspaper distributed from Benidorm to Murcia & Almeria, and the Gran Canarias, and for the Costa Del Sol News, as well as appearing twice a month on the REM.FM Radio Station which also broadcasts to all these areas and Madrid.  I receive a lot of letters most of which are covered in my book, but here is one that may be of interest to those from the Channel Islands.

Dear Sirs,

For attention of Round Town News Motoring Section.

I would be grateful if you could check the following with Brian Deller!

I have moved to Spain and would like to transfer my Guernsey (Channel Islands) license to a full Spanish licence.  I see in the Round Town News you may be able to help me with this.

You may not be aware but Guernsey Licensing Authority (Channel Island ) is self-managing and not governed by the English DVLA.  They issue their own International licenses, which are similar to U.K. without the EU Stars, yet the Channel Islands are part of British Isles.

I would be grateful if Brian could check with the Spanish traffic authority to see if it is possible to transfer Guernsey license to a full Spanish License, if yes how do I carry this out.

Many Thanks

Mark Wadley,Tel 620 552 568.

Dear Mark,

In the last year, I have received four letters on this subject and answered them individually. As it may be a problem for others, your letter is published here and will be placed on my web-site so others can see the facts, which are:

You are right that the Channel Islands (CI) are part of the UK, but they are not signed up to the European Union.  Other countries in a similar position are Gibraltar and the Isle of Man, so although you may drive here using your CI driving licence with an International Driving Licence issued in the CI, for up to a year and as long as your visa (officially) allows, you cannot use it for longer, nor exchange it for a Spanish DL.  The answer, as others have discovered is to "live" in the UK for a year and exchange it at the DVLA in Swansea for a UK one. Contact the DVLA Foreign Licence Department with a completed Form D1 (off the Internet) and the proof of your passport (notarised in the UK, copy).  There will be a small charge for this as on the www.dvla.gov.uk web site.    This needs to be done well before you are 70 years of age as UK licences expire then, as you may know.   

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 Costs of Learning to Drive and obtain a licence in Spain.   17 May 2004,  Inserted here 12 September 2006

As I still receive enquiries here on the Costa Del Sol about driving lessons in English, this item has been repeated here.

The main problem for the English-speaking learner-driver in Spain is that, except in selected areas where there are many English-speaking residents with teenage children who are of the age to learn to drive, the lessons are not in English.   If the "child" has lived in Spain for a few years this will not be a problem, but it is for the newcomers, of which there are quite a few now.   My book suggests that the best way is to learn and take the test in the UK, but if you live on the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca, there are schools who will teach and arrange for the driving test to be taken in English.    The cost is an important consideration.   One young driver advised me that it cost her over 450, whereas the procedure (tuition and test) in Spanish was far less, about 150.

If you live in Malaga Province, namely Malaga City, Benalmadena or Marbella, then Javier Gomez of Autoescuelas Torcal is a well respected registered driving instructor who speaks English.  He lived in the UK for 18 months.  His phone numbers are:    600-950-685; 600-950-611, and the school office number is (Marbella) 952-86 86 64.

Note:  The above tel-nos checked in August 2006 and found to be still current.

Any referrals from the other Costas?   (Added 22 October - more info on a Fuengirola school)

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The updated Speed Offences Reference Table used by the Guardia Civil, Policia Locales and the Spanish Courts.

This replaces the one in my book on page 52

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE AUTHORITIES' RESPONSIBILITIES IN SPAIN.  22 September 2006

Often there are changes to the normal routines on roundabouts (glorietas) in Spain where the vehicle on the roundabout has to give way to a vehicle entering it.  The normal legal rules are explained in detail in my book (Second Edition) and the other such as shown below, is also explained.    But who is responsible when road signs have not been maintained or have been deliberately defaced and left this way for many months?    Who is responsible if a stranger to the area takes the normal action and has an accident with a local, although the road sign/road markings are not apparent?

The picture below has been taken (20th September 2006) at the northern side of the slip road off the N340 Ctra. De Cadiz, and shows that traffic leaving the N340 has priority over the traffic on the roundabout.   But who would readily know because legally, the road sign consists of the sign on the pole with "ceda el paso" (give way) on it, and the road being painted with white markings to the same effect.  There are many such signs in Marbella area where the council is virtually bankrupt due to the recent years of extreme corruption practiced by the former Marbella Town Councillors (most are now in jail or on bail awaiting trial).

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DRIVING WITH UNSUITABLE FOOTWEAR?

I have just been advised by a lady that, at a roadside check near Marbella, she was cautioned (not charged) that we are not allowed to drive or ride a vehicle without wearing suitable footwear.  In this case our friend was wearing slip-on sandals.   Now any one who, rides a motorcycle/scooter/moped without sturdy footwear is a fool, but of course, a sandal slipping off while driving can cause an accident, so it makes sense.  As I have said many times, most laws are made as the result of accidents occurring so we are given the "benefit of experience" by obeying them.

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 OCT2006

 

 

 

 Road Sign Speed >

 30

 40

 50

 60

 70

 80

 90

 100

 110

 120

>3.500kg > 9 passengers

Remainder of vehicles

 Speed without fine or points.

>40

>50

>60

>70

>80

>90

>100

>110

>121

>132

No Court case

No Court case

 Without points but with fine option.

41-60

51-70

61-80

71-90

81-100

91-100

101-120

111- 130

122-141

133-152

120

120

 2 points

61-70

71-80

81-90

91-100

101-110

101-110

121-130

131-140

142-151

153-162

150

140

 3 points

101-105

111-120

121-130

131-140

141-150

152-161

163-172

220

200

 4 points

141-150

151-165

162-181

173-198

300

300

 6 points

71-77

81-87

91-97

106-112

121-128

136-143

151-158

166-174

182-190

199-208

450

380

 6 points

78-84

88-94

98-104

113-119

129-136

144-151

159-166

159-166

191-199

209-218

520

450

 6 points

85 +

95 +

105 +

120 +

137 +

137 +

167 +

167 +

200 +

219 +

600

520

 

 

 

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