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Common sense or law

All of we Britons who drive in Spain have views about Spanish driving. I think that Spanish traffic goes remarkably slowly in towns for instance. Not many of my compatriots agree.

Something that Spanish drivers do is to use their hazard flashers more than I remember them being used in the UK. The main purpose is the same as for UK white van drivers, hazard flashers confer invulnerability if not invisibility. Put them on and you can stop where you like, when you like and for as long as you like in the most ridiculous place imaginable. Double parking is a curse on city streets in Spain.

But Spaniards also put on their hazard flashers when their vehicles might become a temporary roadblock; so when someone is reversing into a parking space in front of you and you have to wait - on go the flashers. You're travelling down a conventional two way road and you see a vehicle waiting in the middle of the road to turn left across traffic which will cause you to have to stop on a main road - on go the flashers. Good, sensible habit.

On motorways as a traffic jam begins to form on go those hazard lights. I'd always thought it was simply one of those things that drivers develop, like the way lorry drivers in the UK used to sit their waggons side by side as they approached roadworks to stop queue jumpers. But, apparently not. I was just trying to find the rules about use of snow chains here and I came across a law that says that hazard lights have to be used when a vehicle cannot reach the minimum expected for that type of road.

Bang goes another of my cherished ideas about Spaniards.


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