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Article in today´s Daily Mail
I read with great amusement an article in this mornings Daily Mail - that Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is under police investigation following a "fail to stop collision". From reading that you would have thought it was a major incident, but no, he was performing not a 3 but 7 point turn and clipped another car without realising. This only came to light after CCTV footage was viewed.... If I was in his shoes I´d be more embarrassed that it took 7 "manoeuvers" to turn a car in the opposite direction!

Driving in Spain

Now if you are in the least worried about your car being "clipped" then DO NOT drive to Spain is my advice! The Spanish are notorious for using bumpers as guides, after all, that´s what they are for. If you ever watch a Spaniard park you will notice that they NEVER use their mirrors but go back and forth, hitting the bumpers of the car in front and behind. Virtually every car has scratches and bangs, so if you in the least bit "fussy" then just don´t. Not only is Benidorm full of locals and holiday makers at the moment, but it is also overflowing with domestic tourists from Madrid!

Normal here....
A friend of mine recently had an altercation with a Spanish driver. He was sat outside a cafe with his car parked directly outside. A car pulled in and scratched his bumper - one that had just been repaired and respray the day before. He confronted the driver who initially denied it was him then when he pointed to the blue paint left behind, exactly the same as his vehicle he looked and just said "oh it´s only a little graze". He spoke to half a dozen witnesses who were also sat outside and they all agreed it was his vehicle that caused the damage so the police were called. On arrived he explained what had happened to them yet when the police started asking the "witnesses" suddenly no-one had seen anything!

Car Hire

Alicante airport car hire desks
If you are hiring a car it is probably worth taking out the full cover as you will almost certainly end up with some damage by the end of your holiday. It is frustrating, but you soon get use to it - I know that I certainly have as my car has plenty of dents and scratches through no fault of my own. The resort is jam packed with cars this week for the Easter holidays and sometimes I wonder whether half of those driving even have their license!

Driving with Alzheimer´s

But onto a more serious issue of licenses, Benidorm local police and the local AFA Alzheimer´s Association are calling for the Directorate General to introduce changes to current traffic regulations for those people affected by the condition. The current situation is that a license is valid for a ten year duration for those under the age of 65 and thereafter, it needs to be renewed every five years. Both the Psychologist and President of the AFA explained that "until the patient has to renew the license there is nothing to stop them from getting into their car". Obviously each case needs to be assessed individually as those in the early stages would still have the capability to drive, but specific legislation would ease the burden of many families and careers.  They are contacted on a regular basis from worried children and spouses of sufferers who do not know how to act to prevent them from getting into their cars. The local police have also indicated that they see more and more incidents involving drivers with some form of dementia. The proposal has already been referred from Alicante to Madrid, where it has generated "great interest".

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