By Chris King • 02 December 2021 • 19:46
Image of Guardia Civil traffic officers.
Credit: Guardia Civil.
As winter is upon us, we are all wearing a lot warmer and greater number of clothing articles when going outside, and while using our vehicles. We must be aware that, as with warm weather, there are still regulations relating to the driver’s attire behind the wheel. Driving with flip-flops in summertime comes to mind, something many traffic cops have issued fines for.
The Directorate-General for Traffic (DGT) recommends wearing suitable clothing for driving, with which we can comfortably operate the vehicle’s controls. There is no specific regulation that expressly prohibits wearing uncomfortable clothing when driving, or at least does not specify what clothing is considered uncomfortable.
There are some situations contemplated by Royal Decree 1428/2003 of the General Traffic Regulation, which in case of non-compliance are subject to fines. These are always at the discretion of the traffic officer, should he consider that you will not be able to control your vehicle safely.
Article 3.1 of the Royal Decree stipulates that “you must conduct yourself with the diligence and caution necessary to avoid any damage, your own, or that of others, taking care not to endanger both the driver himself and the other occupants of the vehicle, and the rest of the road users”.
Also, in article 18.1, it is stated that “the driver of a vehicle is obliged to maintain his own freedom of movement, the necessary field of vision, and permanent attention to driving, which guarantees his own safety, that of the rest of the occupants of the vehicle, and that of the other road users”.
A coat or jacket that is too thick, or winter gloves, can reduce mobility in the arms and hands, or interfere with the correct operation of the seat belt, so wearing them while behind the wheel may be within the reckless driving interpretation of an officer.
The same can apply to footwear. For example, mountain boots with a sole that is too wide, that slips off the pedals, or that have elements that can get caught n the pedals, can also be susceptible to be considered as “dangerous” by a traffic cop.
Driving without ensuring adequate freedom of movement and comfort when driving at the discretion of a traffic officer, is considered a minor offence. The penalty is €80, although in these cases, the officer must diligently specify the facts for which he considers that our behavior is negligent, as reported by larazon.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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