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Spain - Yellow Jackets.

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I have cross posted this here as I know a lot of you guys visit Spain when your down here.

I am told that driving laws have now changed in Spain. If you breakdown you should exit the car and wait at the side of the road for recovery (by whom I wonder) but you must also wear a yellow luminous waistcoat (as should all your passengers).

Now I had a look on the AA ( www.theaa.co.uk ) site this morning and theres no mention of this there but then I visited the RAC website (http://www.rac.co.uk/travelservices/european_advisor/spain/) which mentions the jackets being compulsory but not when to wear them. The chap in Quillan market was selling them for €5 each.

Perhaps somebody could clear up when you have to wear them.

As a side issue I remember there was a debate on having a GB sticker on your car and I quote from the RAC website

"UK registered vehicles displaying Euro-plates (circle of 12 stars above the national identifier on blue background) are no longer obliged to affix a GB sticker to the rear of the vehicle when driving in France. A GB sign is still required when travelling outside the European Union (Andorra for example)."

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Re: GB/ FR stickers( for me). We have driven in Andorra, Spain, Portugal, Gibralter and England with just the fr and stars on our number plate, been stopped a few times by the police and never any trouble , not sure if it would be the same for a car from the U.K. ;-) though. We drive to Spain 2 or 3 times a month and the yellow vest law is a new one on me. Will have to ask a couple of pal's in Barcelona, when we pop down for lunch.

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Found this item on a newspaper site from the Costa Blanca. The item was published in 2003

Visible motorists for 2004

Motorists will be obliged to carry a reflective jacket and use it at night in case of breakdown from May next year, according to new traffic legislation.

Road accident studies show 800 people were killed by other vehicles last year as they left their cars to assist accident victims or repair their own vehicles by night. Unlike the fiasco when emergency triangles were made compulsory, no shortage of stocks is expected – although this has not prevented prices from rocketing in the past weeks.

Consumer and motorists' associations advise motorists to shop around as jackets are currently priced at between 10 and 14 euros and they have six months to compare prices. Jackets must be officially approved and carry a 'homologacion' number.

And then this item appeared on 23rd July this year:


Motoring organisation RACE and the Ministry of Health carried out trials on a selection of reflective vests currently on sale to the public. They found that 34 per cent did not comply with EU standard EN-471 and did not have enough reflective qualities to protect the user. They also found they could not be seen at distances greater than 150 metres.

Other failings were a lack of information on how to use and maintain the vests and incorrect labelling.

The head of the DGT Traffic Department said that unlike warning triangles and spare bulbs and fuses, drivers cannot be fined for not carrying a vest in their vehicles, but if they leave their vehicles without wearing the vest they would be breaking the law and could face fines of up to 60 euros. The use of the vests is obligatory on inter urban roads regardless of whether the area is illuminated.

The authorities have not released the brand names of those vests that failed the tests, saying only that manufacturers and retailers have been told to withdraw them from sale.

Approved vests carry a label stating that they comply with directive 89/686/EEC and that conform to EU standard EN-471.


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I hired a car in Gerona last week and there was a jacket in the glove box (No instructions though, not even how to inflate it -- or is that Ryanair ?).

In Vernet Les Bains open air market (in France) last week they were selling the jackets as well. First time I have seen them there.




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We have just travelled to the south of Spain to visit friends, we stopped for a coffee on the motorway and whilst away from the car someone punctured the rear nearside wheel. Five minutes after setting off the tyre exploded, we stopped and started to change the wheel when a Spanish car stopped and the man offered help. We couldn't understand him so he left but whilst he was distracting us an accomplice took my handbag from the front of the car. They took passports, driving licences, log book, insurance, credit cards, debit cards, money. We had to come off the motorway because we couldn't pay the tolls or buy diesel, our friends had to drive 150 miles to meet us with some money.

This happened near Valencia, on the way back we saw another English car changing the same rear nearside wheel on the south carriageway, we couldn't warn them as there was no turn off for miles. We have since been told this happens very frequently to foreigners so anyone driving to Spain please be vigilant.

Regards Jackie

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  • 2 weeks later...

I too have just returned from Spain (Madrid to be precise) where we hired a car... this too had a jacket in the glove compartment although this one was ORANGE. I have since been told that it is an Orange jacket we need NOT a yellow one... so now I'm very confused.


Also - how many do I need to get? Is it just one for the driver or one for every possible passenger?



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  • 1 month later...

They are obligatory, you only have to drive around Figueres etc to see every car with one on show inside.


Apparently the law is that your yellow jacket must be in the car (not the boot) so that you can put it on before getting out.


Added to this, you need to have 2 hazard triangles, one behind your vehicle and one in front, these should also be inside the car and should be easily reached; ie. not in the boot.


Some friends were 'done' just outside La Jonquera for not having the hazard triangles inside the car and not having a jacket at all, think it was an on the spot 80 or 90euro fine!


I bought my two triangles and a jacket for 12euros (the lot) in Andorra, a lot cheaper than the guy flogging them at Esperaza market!


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On most Markets down here vest and a triangle are 5euro,s for the two,I think what meant is that they must be accessible,ie if you have an estate car, van etc and on some cars you can access the book through the rear seat,the law does make sense if it save,s even one person.
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"It might be that I used to work at night and they needed to be seen "

Sounds an excellent idea to me Alexis - this would make it far easier to identify ladies of the night at work. So much quicker and easier than all that kerb crawling




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