N332 November 2016

New Radars around the Country

The latest range of vehicle monitoring and enforcement devices have come into action on the roads of Spain.

These new radars record the average speed of vehicles over a specific stretch of road, recording the number plate as the vehicle passes one point, registering it again at another, then calculating the time taken between the two points. You can view all of their locations on http://transit.gencat.cat/

Throughout Spain, more cameras capable of monitoring more than just speed have been installed. There are 222 cameras throughout the country which take a series of images in order to determine if the vehicle occupants are wearing seatbelts, or if the driver is on their mobile phone.

The new lightweight portable devices which have been issued to the Guardia Civil are small enough to be carried on their motorbikes and can quite literally be positioned almost anywhere and at any time.

You can check the DGT.es website for the latest locations, but try not to get caught. The simplest way of avoiding detection is to always drive within the constraints of the maximum permitted speed of the road and the road conditions.

Warning Triangles

It is mandatory for all vehicles to carry two warning triangles.
These triangles must be of a certified standard for Europe. Homologation certification is shown by the presence of a label, sticker or stamp, which, amongst other codes referring to the manufacturer and other details, shows the letter "E" and a number in a circle. The code is sometimes in a box rather than a circle. For warning triangles, we are looking for a circle and in particular you are looking for E9. The "E" refers to a European standard and in this case, "9" refers to the item having been certified in Spain. E11 refers to the UK, but so long as your triangle carries the European certificated stamp, it is acceptable for use in Spain.

Two triangles must be carried at all times.

Where to Place Your Warning Triangles

In the event of your vehicle becoming immobilised on the road and causing a hazard, you must provide additional warnings to other road users of your presence. Remember that the first thing you must do is switch on your vehicle's hazard warning lights both in the day and at night.

You must place your triangles 50 metres away from your vehicle, so that they are visible from a distance of 100 metres. On a normal two-way road you must place one triangle behind and one in front of your vehicle. On a one-way road, or a road which has more than 3 lanes, such as a motorway, you only need to place one triangle at the rear of your vehicle. In the event that your vehicle is after a bend or over the brow of a hill, move the triangle further away so that it is visible before vehicles reach the bend or brow.

New Portable Breathalysers

The Guardia Civil use hand-held breathalysers at the moment, but these devices only give an approximate indication of alcohol consumption and are not used in evidence. Instead, a bigger, computerised machine is used which provides more accurate results and provides a report which can then be used as evidence in subsequent prosecution. As well as having these devices available in many of the traffic police stations, the Guardia Civil have a fleet of vehicles which have these computerised units installed and are used at the roadside.

The new SAF'IR™ EVOLUTION devices are an evidential analyser, meaning that the testing accuracy is certified and valid in court. It has a start-up time of less than one minute, a simple user interface, and a long battery life that can be extended in-vehicle with an adapter. The entire unit is in a case about the size of a household drill, along with sterile blow tubes and a printer that can process the fine on the spot, as well as recording the evidence. Because of the compactness of the units they can also be carried on the new motorbikes, ensuring the most accurate record and processing of offenders is carried out in the shortest time possible.

Emergency Response – What is PAS?

The PAS system is based on the first response to a situation, in which the primary concern should always be protection, then advising others, and then assisting those in need. PAS is derived from Proteger Avisar Socorrer, which translates to Protect, Advise, Assist.

Protect - What to Do.
Knowing what to do if you witness a traffic accident can not only save the lives of the injured, but also your own. Never forget the three steps: Protect, Advise and Assist.

Self-protection - Park your own vehicle in a safe spot and wear your reflective vest before leaving it.
Keep away from a burning vehicle, or if it is transporting dangerous goods.
Protect the accident site. Signal the area as soon as possible by placing warning triangles and switching on your hazard warning lights.

Advise - Call the emergency services on 112 (they speak multiple languages, including English).
Information to provide:
Location of the place of accident (street, number, kilometre point, if it is a two-way street, the address and any detail that can assist in identifying your location quickly: chapel, restaurant etc.
The number and condition of injured people (if unconscious, bleeding etc).
Special circumstances (the existence of trapped persons, danger of falling vehicle, if they are transporting dangerous goods, if fallen into water etc).
Characteristics and number of vehicles.
Wait for confirmation of details before hanging up.

Assist
Be extremely careful in order to not add or aggravate injuries.
You should not:
Move the injured, or remove them from the vehicle.
If they are a biker, do not remove the helmet.
Do not give drink, food or medication.
Do not allow them to move on their own.
Do not leave until emergency services say it is okay.

You should:
Stay close to the injured.
Try to keep them calm.