Sunday, May 24, 2009

Well, it didn't take long for me to lose another battle in the ongoing War of Alternative Revenue ("WAR"). Having plenty of time at my disposal this morning, I decided to take the scenic route to Oporto aiport and, at 8.30 of a sunday morning when my car represented about 30% of the total traffic, I was duly fined another 100 euros for speeding on the road that runs along the river Miño separating Spain from Portugal. This was either the finale to a very bad week or an ominous start to another one.

The traffic cop told me I'd been doing 75 in a 50 area. Which struck me as almost impossible as, knowing the road well, I'd reduced my speed immediately on seeing the 50 sign. My conclusion, then, is there are only 3 ways to avoid being fined in Spain at the moment:-
1. Don´t drive at all
2. Drive everywhere at 50kph, or
3. Stamp on the brake and reduce to a crawl as soon as you see a 50 sign.

The logic of the last one is that, to record me at 75, they would have had to have had the camera just a couple of metres after the sign.

For what it's worth (not a lot), the cop was chatty and sympathetic, saying it was a shame I wasn't local as I'd have known they were at this spot every day of the year. Which rather gives the game away, I feel. And he told me I wouldn't lose any points. Which means either the police have more discretion than I'm aware of for an offence of driving 50% over the limit, or that he was genuinely wrong, or that he was lying. I guess I'll soon know. And at least I can pay through the wonderful Banco Santander.

Anyway, by agreement with my daughter - and despite her refusal to do the decent thing and pay this fine - I've decided to leave until next Sunday the decision as to whether to top myself or not. Right now, though, the omens are not good.


Midnight Golfer said...

I'm going to slow down, I think.

Ferrolano said...

Well Colin, that really is a bummer as at 8:30 on a Sunday morning, the traffic cops were probably lurking for the left-over’s from Saturday night. Meanwhile, just consider it a punitive taxation for using an out of country airport – sorry!

Colin Davies said...

Yes, I'm positive they were. It's a road famous for 6am deaths. What was really annoying was seeing all the Portuguese cars flash past as I guess they ignore the fines. But not as annoying as me getting done even though I was doing my utmost to obey the ever-changing limits on this road, which (as I said) I know very well. But the traps are well set and have nothing to do with careful driving. This is what is so infuriating. It is just another tax.

But I saved 8 euros on the toll!

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