Cameras designed to spot drivers and passengers not wearing their seatbelts are now in operation and offenders caught will face fines of €200 and a loss of three licence points, confirms Spain’s General Directorate of Traffic (DGT).
By law, camera locations must be disclosed – as is the case with speed traps – and a list has been published on the website DGT.es.
For the last few months, those drivers who were caught on standard traffic police radars not wearing a seatbelt would only receive a letter informing them they had been seen and reminding them of the dangers, but would not be fined unless they were actually caught by an officer at the roadside.
The same would apply if a child was spotted without the correct restraint or booster seat for his or her age, or sitting in a parent’s lap in the front seat.
But from Saturday, anyone filmed on the new cameras will indeed be fined, and the offender will receive a letter with a photograph as proof in the same way as they would if caught by a speed camera.
Back-seat passengers who do not belt up can literally kill the driver or front-seat passenger in the event of a crash by hurtling into them.
And DGT figures estimate that of those who died in car accidents and were not wearing a seatbelt, 60% would still be alive today if they had bothered to buckle up.