Nicked; A cautionary tale

I’m not feeling particularly proud of myself, in fact I am more than a little bit embarrassed.

Mondays’ post brought an official letter from Spain.

Not the nice kind of letter granting our Obras Mayores planning permission for the barn, but the nasty kind from the ‘Centro de Tratamiento de Denuncias Automatizadas’ of the ‘Ministerio del Interior’. Denuncias isn’t a nice word, and I knew that it wasn’t going to be good news before I opened it for it had a red sticker on the outside, and red stickers are very rarely an indicator of good news.

Not my finest hour

Inside was a single piece of A4 paper, printed on both sides, with a photograph of a car, lots of writing in Spanish, and a figure in a box of €400.00. My heart sank. How had I managed to speed in the Land Rover? Surely they should be sending me an achievement certificate rather than a fine.

Then I looked at the paperwork in more detail.

The photograph was of a Volkswagen Polo, the date was in early December 2011, the location was just outside Santiago de Compostela, and the offence was for driving at 85 kph in a 50 kph zone.

My mind filled with questions; It’s not for me! That wasn’t me! How on earth am I going to sort this out?

Then reality dawned. When Mother came to visit in December I hired a car because the Landy was being a bit ‘fragile’. We went to Santiago de Compostela for a quick visit and a bit of lunch, and I recognised the registration number on the photograph. It was me after all!

Twenty years after my one-and-only previous speeding conviction (for averaging 95 mph on the motorway in a BMW 320i whilst being followed for 8 miles by a marked police car) I’d got a second, and this one was going to cost me €400.00 (reduced to €200.00 if paid within 20 days of receipt).

It looks like a fair cop, although I can’t remember driving through any fifty zones at eighty-five, and I nearly always observe the Spanish speed limits, much to the chagrin of locals following me through villages. But they’d send me the camera calibration certificate, and with me being the only one insured on the hire car it’s a ‘slam dunk’ for the authorities. It was a momentary lapse of concentration, probably talking to Mother.

I did some initial research and found out that failure to pay could result in me being arrested the next time I entered my adopted homeland. I hastily paid the fine at the reduced rate and then with further investigations found out that the four points I collected for the offence will be registered against my Spanish Identity Number (NIE). I’ve now eight left now before I get a Spanish driving ban.

All very embarrassing.

Now I dread the daily post landing on my doorstep, just in case I committed any more offences over there.



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5 Responses to Nicked; A cautionary tale

  1. Aunty Carol says:

    Well, it’s obviously your mum’s fault isn’t it?
    It took a long time to get to you didn’t it!
    But still not as bad as another aunty of yours!!!!!

    • admin says:

      I’ve been trying to blame Mother but she’s not having any of it. And you are right, I’ve some way to go to catch Patricia!

  2. Kate says:

    There’s a very sneaky fixed camera on the N547 Lugo-Arzua-Santiago road just before it becomes the A54 dual carriageway. It’s on the hill at the end of the Santiago airport runway and we’re certain its put there just to catch us when we arrive! There’s a camera sign at the foot of the hill where it is 50 through Amenal but no sign coming from the airport direction. If it wasn’t this one, then hopefully this will help you avoid another 4 points!

    • Paul says:


      Mine was on the N-634 at 695.3 and must have been equally sneaky as I didn’t see it. I think it is here on Google Maps.

      Thanks for letting me know about the other one.

      • Kate says:

        Thanks Paul – I have noted that one as we would travel this way from the house we are restoring near Vila de Cruces if we ever had time to visit the beaches on the north coast!
        These are the coordinates to the one on the N547 Ctra Santiago-Guntin just after the end of the Autovia A54 ( 42.908280, -8.403380)

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