Home Magazine Issue 01 Obligations of the Driver

Obligations of the Driver

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The driver of a vehicle is obliged to maintain their own freedom of movement, the necessary field of vision and constant attention to driving which guarantee their own safety, that of the other occupants of the vehicle, and of all other road users.

To this effect, they and the rest of the passengers must take special care to maintain a suitable position, and suitable placing of objects or animals being transported so that none of these interfere with the driver. This rule is an all encompassing regulation which can be used to ensure that a wide range of risky behaviours are avoided.

The following are considered incompatible with constant attention to driving, and as such are prohibited:

a) The use by the driver, with the vehicle in motion, of screens, television monitors, reproducers of images or any similar kind of device which reduces the attention to driving. Exceptions are made for the use of monitors in the driver’s line of vision and whose use is necessary for viewing the ascent and descent of passengers, or rear-view cameras, as well as for viewing navigation devices, although you must not touch those devices whilst driving.

b) Driving whilst using helmets or earphones connected to receivers or reproducers of sound, including the use of only one, except during official driving lessons and driving tests on the open roads to obtain a driving permit, where the General Rules for Drivers have been established. This rule covers the use of such devices as Bluetooth earpieces, which are prohibited under normal operation.

It is prohibited to drive while using mobile phone devices and any other mode or system of communication, except under the following conditions:

a) Hands-free, using an approved device for the purpose. It should be noted that hands-free devices are specifically designed for that purpose. Simply holding a device such as a telephone which is on loudspeaker mode, not placed at your ear, does not constitute hands-free operation.

b) Without the use of helmets, earphones or similar instruments. This condition will not apply to the drivers of mopeds and scooters, where they are using an integrated device in the safety helmet, properly officially approved, with the purpose of communication and direction or navigation.

Agents of the authorities are exempt from this prohibition while carrying out the duties with which they are charged.

It is prohibited to carry or install radar or speed detector blocking devices or any other instruments with the objective of eluding or interfering with the proper function of traffic control, or making or emitting signals with that purpose.

Equally it is prohibited to use mechanisms to detect radar or speed cameras. Devices and mobile phone applications that warn of the location of fixed cameras and radars are permitted. Notification mechanisms which advise of the status of traffic control systems are excluded from this prohibition.

The driver of a vehicle must ensure that the registration plates are free from obstacles which impede or obstruct their reading and identification. The most common obstructions that obscure number plates are badly fitted tow bars, bicycle carriers and objects hanging from the back of vehicles, although anything which obscures the view is prohibited.

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