THE Guardia Civil’s traffic division will be able to examine a driver’s mobile after a serious road accident.
Bartolome Vargas, a public prosecutor attached to the Supreme Court and Spain’s Road Safety coordinator, sent out an order allowing traffic police to scrutinise calls made and received prior to a crash.
Studies show that using a mobile while driving increases the accident risk by 20 per cent and this now incurs a €200 fine, plus the loss of three points from a driving licence.
The new ruling does not allow on-the-spot inspections and investigators must seek a court order before asking a phone company to list calls on a driver’s phone at the time of the accident.
Nor will all calls automatically imply an offence, as using a Bluetooth system is legal, Vargas conceded.
The Guardia Civil also want powers enabling them to pursue drivers with mobile apps that warn of roadblocks or drink and drugs controls.
Traffic declines considerably minutes after they set up a roadblock due, presumably, to these apps, they believe.
Legal experts rejected this suggestion as “completely impractical.”
Officers would need a court order before they could examine a driver’s mobile, otherwise they would be violating the constitutional right to private communications, they pointed out.