Traffic police in Portugal 'targeting' tourists

Discussion in 'Europe' started by rwoman, Aug 23, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. rwoman
    Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

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    The Telegraph: Traffic police in Portugal 'targeting' tourists

    I know in the US we see stories of states targeting drivers from other states and one of my German colleagues has described similiar experiences when driving their German licensed car in other European nations.

    Of course, tourists can be seen as a soft/easy target for giving tickets...we tend to want to pay to get going to our next destation!

    Watch out if driving in those flip flops!

    ;)

     
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  2. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Glad I don't drive. :)

    Overall, tourists make some interesting targets indeed, I just remember when we've visited Yasmine Hammamet, Tunisia a few years ago, there we saw a tourist drive his rental car slower than the local drivers and at the round-about between the marina and the hotel strip, he, began to drive in circles and drove a few times the round-about without going anywhere, the local drivers were a little bit confused, but seem to understand. Glad no police was nearby, but it shows what to do and what not IMHO.
     
  3. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I have been the recipients of traffic fines in many European countries, but never incorrectly. All of them have been for speeding but one. I did receive a parking citation in London many years ago when I parked my own car for a moment beside a newsstand to buy something. A traffic warden observed me doing this and quickly ignored all else to rush to write me up. The car was a fairly conspicuous Italian sporty vehicle with the custom lying licence plaque DUL V8 so there may have been the slight bias involved. However, I was guilty, as usual.

    IME, all over Europe enforcement is growing more rigid. Speeding cameras, stop sign/light cameras are growing in use every day. Especially visiting Brits with their own cars have a habit of parking on the wrong side on the continent and they seem to be treated just like anyone else, including Portugal, IME, but their parking is rather less disciplined perhaps reflecting UK weekend liberties. Germans do have the autobahn vs Autoroute/Autostrada/Motorway issues to deal with because they're habituated to no speed limits. When I lived near Nice our local press covered regular apprehension of Germans driving Porsches/ der grosser Mercedes/BMW etc at speeds in excess of 200kph (limit in the region is 110/130 depending on area). While Germans may have felt singled out their behavior was the issue.

    Similarly Americans often are apprehended on the continent for driving slowly in the left lane, turning from a non-turn lane, not signaling turns, failure to yield right of way to an oncoming climbing car when they descending a steep narrow road, etc. Those courtesies may exist in US driving rules but few people pay much attention.

    I'm not suggesting that tourist targeting does not happen, just that I suspect it is more rigid enforcement in general rather than just tourists. The Telegraph may just be stirring the pot a little bit. I always have enjoyed it precisely for that.

    BTW, before somebody shouts. I'm just expressing my personal views here. I am not claiming them to be Truth, although the anecdotes are factual.
     
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  4. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    One thing I like about speed cameras though is they create "ticketing equality" vice the possibility of human error. I've been fine in the UK, but have been ticketed in Germany before...unknowingly when the speed limit dropped.

    :)
     
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  5. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Probably this guy... :)

     
  6. james ensor

    james ensor New Member

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    I would say that the Portuguese police are not specifically targetting tourists. They are definitely targetting cars with foreign plates. Many of these, especially in summer, are driven by Portuguese. So long as they have a valid address in another EU country they can talk their way out of the problem. Many British and Germans also have properties in the Algarve and have retained cars with their national plates. So long as they do not live in these houses or flats for more than six months in any one calendar year, they can also talk their way out of the situation. The problem is that the onus is on the driver to prove his innocence.

    I was stopped twice within three days driving an old car with British plates. I was asked leading questions such as how come do you speak Portuguese? Why do you have tools in your car? The GNR were polite and not unpleasant but on each occasion it took about half an hour. Fortunately I was able to prove with passport stamps that I was not a Portuguese resident if I had been unable to do so I believe that the fine would have been €1600

    Foreign drivers are also much more likely than Portuguese to be caught out by Portuguese motoring offences which would not be considered offences in their home country. This includes parking against the flow of traffic and driving with inadequate footwear. More peculiarly you can also be fined for carrying new merchandise for which you cannot produce a VAT receipt. The police have been told to increase revenues from fines and this is costing Portuguese as well as foreign motorists a lot in fines. The country has a hugely overblown set of police forces, which date from the Salazar era of Fascist dictatorship. They are tasked with saving their country`s ailing revenue base..



    In
     
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  7. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    they would have ticket everybody here.

    -David
     

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