When talking to clients, sometimes they appear to have a misconception about the Spanish Police and many people worry about dealing with them during a routine traffic stop. The truth is that in general the Police in Spain tend to be very friendly, helpful and professional and a routine stop really is nothing to worry about.
So in this weeks blog we are giving you some useful information about how the traffic police system works so that you can relax with your all inclusive car hire at Alicante airport or Mallorca airport and not be stressed about getting pulled over!
It may be worth pointing out that there have been some stories (albeit not so much recently) of false police officers trying to stop cars for subious reasons so let´s start by clarifying how to be sure if the Police really are the Police.
If you approach a road block or police check point then it is pretty obvious that the officers are real as in these situations the officers will be in uniform with marked police cars however if you are driving and anyone attempts to ask you to stop from begind then bear in mind the following points.
Most of the traffic offences and policing are the responsibility of the Guardia Civil trafic department. That´s not to say that National Police or Local Police would not ask you to stop if they needed to but the majority of the road safety issues are taken care of by the Guardia Civil.
The majority of police cars are marked and high visibility but sometimes unmarked cars mey be patrolling and require you to stop. If you are being asked to stop by an unmarked Police car there are a few things to look out for to check if this is an authentic car.
Usually the police inside will be wearing a uniform but also the car itself will have some tell tale signs if it is a Police car. Blue flashing lights are hidden underneath the grill which of course will be flashing if you are being asked to stop. Also a red flashing light is the confirmation that you are required to stop.
You may also see inside the car equipment such as a radar in the front window (alhtough not always) and most unmarked cars have had the passenger side sun visor replaced with a LCD display that will show the word "G. Civil", "Trafico", "Alto", or "Stop". This is illuminated in reverse so that it is readable in your rear view mirror.
If you are ever in any doubt about whether a Police car is real or not you can call 062 and tell the operator that you are being asked to stop and they will confirm the registration number of the car as to whether it is a Police car or not. Having said all of this, incidents of false officers is very rare and usually it will be very clear if you are being asked to stop that the Police are genuine!
If you are required to stop by a following Police car they will approach you and flash their blue lights and the red light mentioned earlier. You should look for a safe place to park. Do not stop in a place that could endanger you or others. When you have stopped remain in the car and the officer will approach the car and inform you as to the reason you have been stopped.
You will usually be required to show your driving license and as a tourist your passport too. They may ask to see papers for the car. If you have a car hire from Drivalia in Alicante or Palma de Mallorca you should show your rental contract and the plastic envelope that contains the vehicle documents.
If you have committed a speeding offence or other minor motoring offence for which you are stopped it will usually be dealt with at the roadside. If you are issued a fine you will be given a ticket with instructions how to pay. The only officers authorised to take payments by the road side are uniformed Guardia Civil officers.
After the matter has been dealt with the Police will assist you in rejoining the traffic to ensure you continue on your journey safely.
In general the Police in Spain are helpful, obliging and respectful. Spain is a very safe place to be in general thanks to the proactive approach that the Spanish police have in preventative measures so routine stops are normal. If you do get stopped for any reason there is nothing to worry about, just be poite, follow the requests of the officer and you will soon be on your way.
Remember that for all inclusive car hire at Alicante airport and Mallorca airport, debit card card hire at Alicante airport and Mallorca airport and one of the best rated car hire experiences in town, Drivalia are the number one choice for tens of thousands of families!