The recent furore over the changes to the driving licence requirements for ex-pats is about to be massively surpassed by the introduction of the latest batch of decrees. The bar-room lawyers are going to have a field day with their usual brand of misinterpretation, falsehoods and scaremongering

These new laws are so far reaching that I have already booked a month’s sabbatical in a monastery where phones and emails are banished, during which time I hope that the storm will have abated

To be honest the rules are so bizarre that I had to check them out with my contact in Trafico, Más de Mi Trabajo Tiene Valor, who because of his gargantuan size is known to his friends as Más y Más. He is going to the same monastery

Foreign car crackdown

In order to crack down on the amount of illegal foreign vehicles in Spain all cars will be stopped at the frontier for a paperwork check. After this a large sticker will be placed in the windscreen showing the arrival date of the car and the date 6 months later when the car will have to leave the country unless it has been re-registered. Any vehicle that has overstayed its welcome will be impounded and crushed

New ITV requirements

The ITV inspection will be developed to include ancillary equipment and for the first time the driver himself. Hi-viz vests will be illuminated by headlights in order to the check their reflectivity; those deemed to be too dull will be confiscated. Warning triangles must be erected by the driver and undergo a test similar to the vests. Triangles are to be renamed “alertings” as this is not only is a more practical name but anagrammatically correct

Drivers will be breathalysed upon arrival which will no doubt cause profit loss to the breakfast brandy bars but they will also be subject to a coordination exam of the type undertaken during the licence “medical” plus an eyesight test. Spare driving glasses will be checked to confirm that they match the originals.

Back to the good old days

The influx of foreign drivers has caused so much confusion amongst the natives that the removal of indicators from all cars has been ordered as it is only non-Spaniards that use them. All white lines showing the lanes on roundabout are to be deleted and henceforth everyone will be expected to cut straight across the roundabout if going ahead and picking any slice of road if turning left. Headlight flashers will be banned as their use as a common courtesy, for example when letting a driver out from a junction, is deemed to be contrary to Hispanic culture and superfluous

After much lobbying by the hard liners of the “Soy Español” society which aims to keep old traditions alive, the laws on seat belt and crash helmet use will be relaxed so long as you are driving in your home town. Under the same legislation, kids will once again be allowed on the front seats or hang out of the windows but by contrast all dogs must undergo formal training before being allowed on a motorcycle pillion. The plea by the same society that all cars should be replaced by donkeys in smaller towns was turned down on the nod

More jobsworths

Many of you will know that NIE certificates issued in the past year or so have a note at the bottom declaring the document’s expiry after 3 months although the number remains constant. An out of date document is not accepted at Trafico. The ruling party has stipulated that everyone will now have to renew their NIE 3-monthly if they wish to remain in Spain. With the general election coming up this is a wheeze to reduce unemployment by hiring thousands more civil servants whose only role in life is to justify their existence

So I will shortly be off on my break. It starts on the same day as this new legislation; April 1st