Driving in Spain – Beware of Speed Traps

Driving in Spain can be a terrific experience, especially on the largely unused minor roads where you might encounter two or three other vehicles in a 100km stretch. Other times, like on the C-32 between Barcelona and Sitges on a Friday afternoon can be a hair-loss extravaganza with sardine tins packed into sardine tin crates, nothing moving, tempers flaring, horns papping, fingers extending.

Worse still are those who flout the road laws and drive at break neck speeds along back roads, overtaking everything that might potentially be a vision blocker or speed hindrance and never get caught, especially when I did doing just a little over the limit in a badly signposted area.

Yes, Spanish speed traps are random affairs and this is the only one I’ve seen in all my thousands of miles across the country.

It happened on the N-634 heading towards Santiago in Galicia and I’d been driving for around four hours and was feeling tired yet jubilant at the proximity of our destination. And then I was flagged down and handed a fine.

Now, that’s the excuses out of the way, what actually happened was I put some music on, fell into the ‘driving to up tempo music’ trap and missed the signs telling me to do 60kmh. I was clocked doing 92kmh and the police then tried to explain in a mix of Spanish, English and French that I was a bumberclart and had to pay them 150 euros on the spot or the van would be clamped until I paid.

I paid.

The officer then explained that they have a 10kmh allowance, (much like the UK’s 10% allowance) and he showed me the scaling fine system, the highest being 750 euros and several points on the license.

So here’s my advice to you in simple bullet points:

  • Don’t speed.
  • Heed this advice (mainly the first point) or end up poorer.


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