Holidays in Majorca: Stricter penalties for traffic offences and… for using swimwear in public
The sunny island of Majorca has long been one of the most popular destinations for holidaymakers from northern Europe and Brits in particular.
The largest of the Spanish Balearic islands has been known for its great weather, plentiful excellent beaches and, just as important, moderate price levels. Budget travellers might now, however, find it a little more difficult to make Majorca holiday cheap as new, stricter policies have been introduced to the Spanish road code. Steep fines for common traffic offences, amongst them speeding, apply also to tourists, who in a popular holiday destinations as Majorca, often exceed in number the locals.
While the new road laws apply in the whole of Spain, in Majorca count also with new locally introduced regulations concerning etiquette in public.
New traffic laws Majorca – beware steep fines for speeding in Mallorca
Changes introduced to the Spanish highway code apply to the most common offences.
Speeding fines Majorca
Unaware holidaymakers driving in Majorca are very likely to face rather heavy fines for speeding, should the not comply with the limits. With the ‘zero tolerance’ for speeding, in force in Spain since May 2014, drivers exceeding the speed limit in as little as 1 km/h incur in a fine of even EUR100.
At the same time, while the speed limits on some Spanish motorways have been raised from 120 km/h to 130 km/h, in many areas within the cities the limits have been actually lowered, sometimes to even 20 km/h.
Additionally, the Spanish road police witness to a road offence is now authorised to issue the fine without stopping the driver – the number plate is a sufficient evidence. This also applies to hire cars in Majorca.
In order to avoid being surprised by a large amount of fines for speeding or other offences at the end of your holiday stay in Majorca, it is highly recommended to pay attention to the speed limits on the Majorcan roads. Please note, that the used of speed radar detectors in Majorca/Spain is prohibited and subject to fines.
Drink driving Majorca
Drivers who exceed the allowed alcohol levels in Majorca can also expect very little tolerance from the road police officers and this one drink too many can turn out to be rather costly.
The alcohol limit for drivers in Majorca, and in the rest of Spain is 0.5 grams per litre. Drivers found driving with the double that number, or more, risk a fine of minimum EUR 1000.
Young drivers in Majorca should be aware that the allowed alcohol levels drop to 0.3 grams per litre if the driving permit is less than 2 years old, and to 0.15 grams per litre if they had been in the possession of the driving licence for less than a year.
This is, however, not much of a concern for holidaymakers driving hire cars in Majorca, as most of the Majorcan car rental companies require that the driver holds his/her drivers licence for at least 2 years to be able to rent the car.
Please note that, according to the new regulations, the pedestrians who violate traffic regulations may be requested to carry an alcohol test.
Cycling in Mallorca – new regulations
Many of the changes to the Spanish road code refer to cyclists.
Be aware that from May 2014, protective helmet is compulsory for all cyclists under 16. Should a teenager (below 16 years of age) be stopped cycling on a public road without a helmet, the parents are facing a fine of EUR200.
Beachwear ban Majorca – fines for wearing swimsuit away from the beach or pool
From summer 2014, tourists in the “beach paradise”, Majorca will have to get used to putting their clothes back on after they have left the beach or the pool side.
According to the new regulations introduced locally on Majorca, a fine of EUR500 may be applied for failing to wear appropriate garments in public. That excludes beachwear i.e. swimming suits, bikini, trunks (and bare upper body) from anywhere else than the immediate beach or swimming pool area.
This rather controversial measure is defended by the authorities of Majorca as a way to preserve “harmony and civility” on the islands visited every year by millions of tourists. Similar restrictions were introduced in 2011 in another Spanish destination, Barcelona. Banishing alcohol from public spaces other than bars and restaurants might be the next novelty in Majorca, where beers or sangrias on the beach are a common sight.
Time will show whether the new Majorcan public etiquette laws are executed. In the meanwhile it is safer to keep your t-shirt at hand to avoid stretching unnecessarily your Majorca holiday budget.