There are many potential reasons for being fined while driving here in Spain.
Many of them we have covered before such as driving a dirty car, playing your music too loud, throwing rubbish out of the window or one of the biggest dangers, using your phone or another tech device while driving.
However, there is one offence that Spain’s traffic authority, the DGT, believes that the vast majority of Spanish motorists are completely unaware of, and which could earn you a penalty fine of up to 200 Euros.
So what is it?
You know when you go to the supermarket for your weekly shop and place those shopping bags on the back seat because your boot is full?
Well, doing this could actually put you and your passengers at risk not to mention get you in trouble with the traffic police.
It’s not just shopping bags either. It’s any object such as a suitcase, rucksack, or anything else which isn’t properly secured with a seatbelt.
Doing this is illegal in Spain as established by the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) in article 14 of the General Traffic Regulations.
The traffic code states that any such object should be secured in such a way that it cannot distract either the driver or other road users.
"The load transported in a vehicle, as well as the accessories used for its conditioning or protection, must be arranged and, if necessary, fastened in such a way that they cannot: drag, fall totally or partially or move in a dangerous manner, compromise the stability of the vehicle, produce noise, dust or other annoyances that can be avoided; hide the lighting or light signalling devices, the compulsory plates or badges and the manual warnings of their drivers".
In essence, you are not to have anything in the back of the vehicle which cannot be safely secured.
If a vehicle has to brake quickly, any unsecured objects could potentially cause death or serious injury to the driver and/or passengers.
The ‘Elephant Effect’
The laws are in force due to a principle commonly known as the ‘elephant effect’ which according to experts is based on the fact that "any object that travels loose in a car continues to move forward and multiplies, due to the effect of speed, the force with which it would hit any occupant by up to forty times its weight at just 50 kilometres per hour".
And this is the reason that the DGT recommends proper use of the boot to store your shopping bags, luggage and other items.
March 21, 2023
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March 10, 2023
Updated: March 21, 2023 CET