By Gemma Quinn
NEARLY 3,000 people have been gaining valuable driving information from the Guardia Civil’s new Facebook page, launched just two weeks ago.
Set up by Francisco Morales, an officer attached to Torrevieja’s traffic department, with help from his colleagues, the site has far exceeded expectations with hundreds ‘liking’ the page each day. Following changes in the law regarding driving licences, Morales set up the page to explain the law in English for expatriates.
“There have been many changes in the law in recent months and a lot of Spanish drivers don’t know about them, so how can expats be expected to know? So I set up the page and thought I could add information and articles in my spare time, but it has been flooded with questions and followers,” Morales remarked.
A Guardia Civil officer since 2002, Morales hopes the page will break down the barriers between residents and police and give drivers a better understanding of the law and rules and regulations, and ultimately make the roads safer for everyone, lowering the accident rate and preventing people from getting fined.
But isn’t that what their job is, fining people? “Yes,” said Morales, “but we don’t want to be fining people because they don’t know the law. I want to fine you for breaking the law that I know you know. We also want to educate people about why they are being fined and why those rules are in place.”
And the question of the UK driving licence? “If it is a valid 10-year driving licence you are OK to drive with it in Spain. When it expires, you have to renew it with a Spanish one,” he said.
Readers are invited to ask Morales driving-related questions via his Facebook page, search N332, or email [email protected]