Features » Motoring in Spain » The Car Clinic
GOING ROUND IN CIRCLES
Tony Banham (The Car Clinic) / 2010-10-02 14:12:12
I have had so many e-mails about the one I thought its time to get to the bottom of what can only be described as driving us all in circles. Yes roundabouts and indicators, so why does nobody know how to use either?
We need to go back to Franco’s good ‘ol days, when Spain had few main carriageways and no roundabouts at all. Billions of EU Euros was pumped in to improve Spain’s infrastructure and despite the constant updates of the codigo de la circulación (Spanish Highway Code) the problem lays firmly with the fact that many generations of Spanish have passed their driving tests without ever seeing a roundabout!
They don’t really seem to have grasped the idea yet, although the rules regarding roundabouts in Spain are totally different to what we were taught in the UK.
If you all can remember that far back, we were taught firstly when approaching an anti-clockwise roundabout if you are continuing straight (the second exit) you should be in the right hand lane, continue through the roundabout indicating after the first exit.
To turn right the same applies, but indicate approaching the roundabout and just take the first exit. Going left, you should be in the left hand lane when you reach the roundabout, indicating left and after passing the second exit (straight ahead) indicate right and exit, to change direction is the same as turning left except you indicate right after the third exit. Simplz init?
For those how have been taught in Spain, the right, or outside lane has right of way. So if you want to make a U-turn, you approach in the right lane and drive all the way around in that lane, ignoring all the horns and hand gestures. Although the majority of Spanish drivers will, simply dive unexpectedly from lane to lane cutting you up along the way.
The problem is if you have an accident on a roundabout, who is right and who is wrong? The interpretation of the law is where it can all go pear shaped. If the driver turning left from the right lane is Spanish and the Police are called, much of the blame may lie within the interpretation of the rules, rather than what the law states.
Even if you are not at fault and are not carrying all the correct paperwork for your car, you may find yourself paying a fine and for the accident that another driver caused. My advice just be careful, expect the unexpected assume nothing, drive defensively and watch the car to your right of you may just lose the front of yours. And forget indicating, most people don’t bother.
Until next time, remember Schizophrenia beats being alone.