British motorists driving around Spain and the Balearic Islands are being urged to acquaint themselves with the rules of the road to avoid roadside fines, the UK’s top motoring lawyer has advised.
As thousands of Brits prepare for their annual summer holidays – with many hiring cars at their destination – Nick Freeman, aka Mr Loophole, warned there were a host of obscure regulations that, if flouted, could lead to hefty on-the-spot fines.
Mr Freeman, whose clients include David Beckham and Jeremy Clarkson, said: “When you’re on holiday, it can be easy to forget that other countries have quite different motoring regulations to those over here, and the financial penalties can be extremely punitive.
“For example, drivers need to be very careful when parking on sand at the beach, because if the area is classified as ‘protected’, you could end up with a fine of up to EUR 6,000.
“Visiting the beach is often a big part of any Spanish holiday. I recommend motorists have two pairs of shoes when driving to the sea as being barefoot, or wearing flip-flops, comes with a fine of EUR 200.
“According to the law, driving without ‘proper’ clothing or footwear could reduce the driver’s capacity to control the vehicle.”
Other seemingly innocuous offences include:
• Driving with one hand or arm outside of the vehicle can lead to a fine of EUR 100
• If you are caught taking your eyes off the road on several occasions you could end up with a fine of EUR 80
• If a driver is caught biting their nails, kissing a passenger or insulting other drivers through hand gestures, it could also land them with a EUR 80 penalty
Mr Freeman said: “Whether you’re driving your own car or a hire car, British motorists need to be aware of all regulations so they stay on the right side of Spain’s driving laws.
“What might be considered ‘normal’ driving behaviour in the UK could cost you a large sum and severely deplete your holiday funds. Even filling the car up with petrol whilst having the radio on could lead to a fine of up to EUR 91.
“That said, driving on the continent is typically much more pleasurable than driving here in the UK. And, as long as motorists observe the motoring regulations, and drive carefully, then they shouldn’t face any problems.”
Ten motoring offences that you could be fined for in Spain:
1. Driving with one hand or arm outside of the vehicle can lead to a fine of EUR 100. Article 18 of the General Traffic Law states that the driver and passengers should always maintain a sensible position inside the vehicle.
2. Driving without wearing a shirt, being barefoot or wearing flip-flops comes with a fine of EUR 200. According to the law, driving without ‘proper’ clothing or footwear could diminish the driver’s capacity to control the vehicle.
3. You have to be extremely careful when parking on sand at the beach because if the area is classified as ‘protected’, you could end up with a fine of up to EUR 6,000.
4. Making the most of being stationary at a red light by touching up your make-up or eating food could cost you EUR 200 euro and two points off your licence.
5. Driving while blasting music in a quiet area like a hospital or during the early hours of the morning can lead to a fine of EUR 80–100. In one case, a fine of EUR 2,400 was imposed because the noise prevented homeowners from sleeping.
6. You should only use the car horn in cases of emergencies such as avoiding an accident and alerting another motorist that you plan on overtaking their vehicle. Any other use could lead to a fine of EUR 80.
7. Driving in the left-hand lane or in the middle lane if the right-hand lane is free could result in a fine of EUR 200, according to Articles 28 and 31.
8. Be careful if you’re having an argument while driving. If you are caught taking your eyes off the road on several occasions, you could end up with a fine of EUR 80. The same amount will be applied if the driver is caught biting his nails, kissing a passenger or insulting other drivers through hand gestures.
9. Both hands should be kept on the steering wheel while driving and the driver’s ears should be visible.
10. Filling up the car with petrol with the radio on could lead to a fine of up to EUR 91.
About Freeman & Co.
Freeman & Co. are a specialist firm of road traffic and criminal defence solicitors based in Manchester but with nationwide coverage.
Freeman & Co. specialise in a wide variety of road traffic cases, ranging from drink driving, speeding and mobile phone offences, to name but a few.
The firm was created by Nick Freeman, who has been dubbed “Mr Loophole” by the press for his technical legal ability and robustly challenging the prosecution.
Nick is well regarded as an expert road traffic lawyer and has successfully represented many high profile clients for a variety of motoring offences as well as criminal offences.
The firm of Freeman & Co. embodies the way Nick works, with minute attention to detail and challenging the prosecution at every turn.
If you are facing a road traffic matter or criminal offence and need the services of Freeman & Co. please call on 0161 236 7007.
Freeman & Co. are available for Police Station attendances and an experienced criminal lawyer is on hand to take your call.
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Freeman & Co Solicitors
8 Oxford Court
Tel. 0161 236 7007