"a" frames in spain

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by irlamtrucker, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. irlamtrucker

    irlamtrucker Read Only Funster

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    hi
    before we went on our travels to spain in january, i was reaing a thread about whether "A" frames were legal in spain. in the thread someone said that all the horror stories they had heard, had always happened to a friend of a friend,or someone elses friend, WELL i can tell you, that towing a car on an "A" frame is illegal in spain. for 8years we have always carried a scooter on the back of the m/h but last october we decided to have an "A" frame fitted and towed a chverolet matiz. after 6 weeks touring around spain, we were on our way home, between pamplona and irun we were stopped by the guardia civil, they insisted that towing a car on an "A" frame was illegal in spain. I showed him the translation of a letter that "towtall" gave me explaining that eu law allows anything legal in the country of origin was legal throughout the eu, after laughing he insisted on 500 euro's, but with my bit of broken spanish, I appealed to his better nature and explained we were only 35 minutes from the boarder and would be out of spain and into france, he said that he would let me off but then slapped me with a fine of 105 euro's for being over length (more than 12mtrs) and not showing a long vehicle sign. well i can sleep well at night knowing i have helped the spanish economy to the tune of 105 euro's, after all the poor devils are still in recetion. so be warned "A" frames ARE ILLEGAL in spain.

    russ
     
  2. moandick

    moandick Read Only Funster

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    Hi Russ

    Thank you for giving us some long-awaited proof of the Spanish attitude towards A frames - BUT - the question has to be asked - did you get an official receipt for the fine - or was it a Spanish policeman financing his next night out on the booze?

    As you said you had been touring around for six weeks in Spain - now even if you had only been on the road for six or seven days - is that - or was that - the only policeman that you saw? Or was it the only Policeman who could see a profit in stopping you?

    We are told by ex-pats who live in Spain that the Guardia are cracking down on 'Illegal' A Frames but as far as I can find out (and I do want to know so that I can advise my Club members correctly) NOTHING is in writing!
     
  3. lookback

    lookback Read Only Funster

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    Did you get a receipt for the fine Russ? There have been instances where you ask for a receipt and they tell you to go! This happened to my brother in law 18 months ago when he was towing his A Frame - as you are aware with a receipt you can claim the fine back via your MEP. Unfortunately you can`t get away with not displaying the appropriate signs on a long vehicle. Last winter I used an A Frame through Spain and Portugal and never got stopped once - guess it is the luck of the draw.
    Ian
     
  4. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    Spannish legislation does not allow for towing of a vehicle by any means other than a braked trailer where all four wheels of the towed vehicle are off the ground. This applies even if you brake down, you cannot be given a tow by your mate. Seeing as A frames are very much a grey area overhere and not a passed law i somehow think that trying to claim its ok in the uk will not work with regard to complying with the tourists resident countries laws.
     
  5. moandick

    moandick Read Only Funster

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    Hi Chatter - I thoroughly agree with your sentiments - and currently that is what I tell my Members - HOWEVER - that does not explain why some people can go for years without being stopped for A framing and some people have to pay horrendous fines when getting caught for the first time.

    Until we see it in absolute black-and-white I'm afraid that most visitors are going to think that it is only the 'corrupt' police who abide by the law!

    Why can we not get it in writing - simple :thumb:
     
  6. irlamtrucker

    irlamtrucker Read Only Funster

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    "A" frames

    hi
    answers to your questions. yes i did get an official receipt, he printed it out on a small onboard computer, secondly, many local police and guardia civil had passed us throughout our holiday, and indeed one was on a petrol station when we stopped for fuel, they all only glanced at the "A" frame, maybe the ones that gave us the fine got out of bed on the wrong side that morning. to be honest i am now thinking of selling the car and "A" frame and going back to a scooter because, any fine you get puts the cost of the holiday up, the price of diesel went up three times from 98cents a litre to 1.03euro's a litre in spain and went up from 1.00 euro to 1.12 in the supermarkets in france, so paying out £100 to the spanish government i could have done without, saying that, diesel is still alot cheaper over there than here, i suppose european fuel prices will open up another can of worms?
     
  7. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    Why worry about paying £100 to the Spanish government when you are constantly paying many hundreds of pounds into Euro coffers.
     
  8. moandick

    moandick Read Only Funster

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    Thank you for that information, Irlamtrucker - and it just goes to show the real problem - inconsistency on the part of the Police. :Eeek:

    If every policeman in Spain stopped and fined every A Framer whether the driver be English, French or wherever - then we would know for absolute certain that it is a problem with Spain.

    But as you say - it is only the occasional official who thinks that it is correct to pick on an A Framer - maybe as you say, he had had a bad day - and you were there for him!

    I was also interested in the other post where it states that you can claim your money back through an MEP - have you ever heard of that before?

    Ian (lookback) can you let us know more detail about claiming a fine back from an MEP?
     
  9. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    I think you will find that the policemen dressed in a green uniform are the ones that would fine you, (usually never smile and carry a gun)

    Where as the policemen dressed in a blue uniform wouldnt, they would only be interested in you if you parked on the wrong side of the road on a certain day of the week

    I remember reading a response to this question a couple of years ago (have tried to remember where it was i read it but cant) Basically the queston was about how some enforce the rules and others dont which was put to a high ranking police officer, his answer was if a policeman did fine you for either of their rules regarding towing or the length plates(lack of them) the fine would stand, but most experienced officers would not fine a tourist as they didnt want to stop tourists from comming to spain. Since then i believe there has been a crack-down on both trailer types and length plates especially at /near the borders. I know two couples who last year had to unhitch the car and one drive the motorhome whilst the other drove the car.
     
  10. motorhomer

    motorhomer Read Only Funster

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    I really do not understand the debate here.

    It is illegal in spain to tow any vehicle except on a proper trailer. Choosing to argue that it may be legal in the uk so it should be alright in spain seems to me to be disrespectful to the country you are visiting. If you visit another country you should find out what their rules are and obey them. Doing anything else, imho, is asking for trouble.

    Also, the fact that sometimes you get away with it does not mean the police are corrupt or inconsistent. There are lots of laws in england that you often get away with breaking but this does not cause accusations of corrupt policing, so why should it in spain?
     
  11. VMax666

    VMax666 Read Only Funster

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    Saying it's legal in your country could open cans of worms. If a Spaniard had sex with your 13 year old daughter, would you be OK with that as the age of consent is 13 in Spain? I have no doubt there are lots of other laws that vary in the EEC. Can't 14 year olds ride mopeds in France- I am sure our police would not allow that here. VMax
     
  12. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Have A framed all over Europe for years with no problem except Irun.
    Was pulled a few years ago for not having a long vehicle plate,I told them that only HGVs neaded one ,not campers,but was ignored.
    Had to pay the fine becouse what option do you have when the police have your passport or logbook,they know you are not going anywhere without them,and time is on there side.
    Who wants to sit at the side of the road for hours or even days arguing the toss with some Spanish copper???.
    When I was driving for a living most of the problems were in that area,any excuse to pull you,tachos,weight,speeding,anything at all.
    Then when you get over the border into France you have the flying customs to deal with,how many cigs,bottles of whisky etc.
    Its all the Basque region and they are all difficult.
    I now avoid the area like the plague.
     
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