Friday, August 17, 2007

As I’ve spent much of today on Galicia’s winding mountain roads, this blog will be late, short and dedicated to driving . . .

The radio this morning confirmed the dire fatality figures for August so far and advised the majority of deaths were of young men on the roads between 6am and 2pm. So, not great surprise there. These young gallants, it seems, are particularly prone to slaughtering themselves and innocent others on the country’s ‘secondary’ roads. This, of course, is because the police checks are all to be found on the main roads. The idea of placing some of these outside the discos and nightlife areas does not yet seem to have occurred to El Trafico. Or perhaps it’s considered too damaging to the commercial interests of the disco/bar owners.

Up in the hills today, though, I did see two police checkpoints. Both were on straight-ish, flat-ish stretches where the maximum speed varies back and forth between 80 and 100kph.And where even sober drivers might easily stray above the limit. So, easy policing. And easy revenue. Without upsetting anyone but the drivers.

It would be nice if those responsible for erecting new speed limit signs could take the old ones down at the same time. This might just prevent the confusion that arises when you pass through a small village and have to contend with 4 or 5 signs of different design telling you that the permitted speed is 50, 60, 70 or 80. And then 50 again. But perhaps this is helpful to the police.

It would also be useful if the road numbers could stay the same as those on the maps for a couple of years but I know this is asking a lot.

Finally, not so much driving as parking. It struck me, when trying to find a spot today, how ironic it is that some Spanish drivers leave more space between their car and the one in front when they’re parking than when they’re driving at 120kph. Which is irritatingly inconsiderate, whether you are stationary or moving.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From the local paper - looks like you wll be getting them from A Coruña also!

"THE DGT traffic department has announced its intention to equip its helicopters with speed cameras....the DGT will begin to use the cameras to catch speeders, particularly on smaller roads where patrol cars can’t set up radars.

Spain will be the first country in Europe to use this pioneering system, and a DGT spokesperson said that to begin with there will be one camera in every province where there is a traffic management centre (Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla, Málaga, Zaragoza, Valladolid and A Coruña) with the eventual aim of having a camera in every DGT helicopter in the country."