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Morocco Overland: From the Atlas to the Sahara - 4WD, Motorcycle, Van, Mountain Bike

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  #1  
Old 24 Nov 2010
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Bad policemen in Tan-Tan

At the roundebout just outside of Tan-Tan ; direction to Smara or Tarfaya or Laayoune or just to Mauritania ; there are 2 policemen waiting for forreigners and give them a penalty of 700 dirham (around 70 euro) because you diden't stop at the stop sign. I can assure you , almost nowbody stops there. And in Morocco the 'rules' aren't that strict.
The 2 policemen at first are realy friendly and ask your passport and drivers license. If you don'ty pay, you won't get them back.
When i was there , there were 5 forreigners waiting to pay. You get a receite in Arabic.
This is the first time in Morocco i had this with the police. Always they are really friendly.
Even in Smare ( where i was) these 2 are known. They already charged a few hundred forreigners.
I will send an email and duplicat off my penalty and ask if annything can be done with this in the futur.
At the moment they want in Morocco that Europeans invest in Morocco and they welcome toerist but these 2 apperently have another oppinion.

Every boddy who passes here is worned by this.
grts
Peter Penson
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  #2  
Old 24 Nov 2010
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thanks,,peter
will remember this one..
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  #3  
Old 24 Nov 2010
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The Tan Tan Police are talked about when you meet other travelers in Morocco and this roundabout excuse for fining you is their usual trap.

When we drove through we drove very slowly and stopped at all the junctions of the roundabouts even though there was not any other cars around.

Unless the fine has gone up, it was 400 Dh earlier this year.
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  #4  
Old 24 Nov 2010
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I remember those guys from a couple of years ago. I used standard operating procedures (not understanding, not handing over real documents, offering to pay at the police station, asking about their home towns and families and whether they like being stationed wherever they're at, not understanding some more, being endlessly patient but somewhat stupid and slow) and I did not pay. They do not want to keep your documents (what good are these to a Moroccan cop?) and they do not want you to pay at the station. Be patient and most problems will just evaporate. If they don't--for example if you really did run a stop sign in front of the cops--certainly negotiate. It can be helpful to arrange your cash so that you can demonstrate you've only got a small amount by opening your wallet or turning out your pockets.

If you're headed south I can promise this won't be the last time you run into people in uniforms demanding payment. Practice your calm, passive resistance and you will seldom have to pay anything.

Hope that's helpful.

Mark
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  #5  
Old 24 Nov 2010
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hello
same experience somewhere around tan tan. last year a 100dh fine because one in the back of the car had no seatbelt on. First and only fine in 15 years travelling in north africa, east europe and the middle east.
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  #6  
Old 24 Nov 2010
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Traffic fines

Hi all,

Why get so uptight about traffic fines?

On your way through Morocco, how many times were you waved politely through police checkpoints? How many times did you see local folk being pulled over and having their papers taken from them and being given a hard time.

If you run a stop sign, you broke the law. If you don't wear a seatbelt, you broke the law. Do you go to Africa and expect that you don't have to obey simple rules? Would you expect not to get a fine in Europe for similar offences?

Wow, a receipt in Arabic! What language were you expecting? Call it a souvenir.

OK, rant over now.

Happy trails,

Jojo

Happy trails,
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  #7  
Old 24 Nov 2010
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Apparently a new highway code was introduced in Morocco from 1st October. This includes new rates for fines and based on my trip started in early October significantly increased vigilance for speeding, crossing white lines, and stop lines. We (wife on her bike and me) were both stopped on our first two days in Morocco both times for just clipping the White centre line. The first time was a fair cop but they let us off; the second time our documents were taken from us and 1400Dh demanded. As I definitely hadn't crossed the line although my wife may have done and as I didn't have the cash on me I argued the best I could. Eventually they settled on doing one of us - me - for 700Dh. I now have a nice pink Arabic and French receipt/penalty notice to remind me.

It did all put a bit of a damper on the trip for a while as there seemed to police road blocks everywhere usually just as I was thinking about pulling off a slightly dubious overtake.

I was told the new highway code is based on the Swedish highway code.
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  #8  
Old 24 Nov 2010
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Dodgy Cops Near Tat-Tan

Aye met them,Little n Large.They got me "speeding" on the outskirts of Bouizakarne just north of Tan-Tan,with a device that looked like a hair drier with a sticker that said 90 on the back of it.Paid the fine,as it was the third time we were pulled in Less than 20mins!
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Old 24 Nov 2010
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Ha, I know that; some years ago they told us we didn't stoped where we have stoped, and avoided the payment with some tricks; we always remember they are always hidden there and stop time enough to assure there's no "problem".
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  #10  
Old 24 Nov 2010
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They got me last year at that roundabout, but the stop sign is in Arabic so I didn't know that it wasn't a give way sign.
They wanted 400 but then reduced it to 100 and finally sent us on our way after I told them I didn't understand and got out my phone saying that I would phone the British consul who could translate for me and would they speak to him.

Richard
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  #11  
Old 24 Nov 2010
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New highway code

Hi again,

Mass protests and strikes occurred when the new highway code was initially proposed when I was in Morocco a couple of years ago. The transport strike meant that many areas were without fuel for a couple of weeks. We struggled to get diesel.

The government had stated that the new code was to bring driving standards up to European standards. However, many of the population responded that this would be impossible given the number of traffic lights that didn't work, road markings that were too faint and signs that were missing.

Talking to locals, responses were:
"We're not Swiss!"
"This is all the Belgians' fault"
And most strangely, "We blame the Canadians!"

The proposed fines were pretty draconian too. The standard fine for a minor offence had been 400 dhirams for years - about thirty quid. This was to be increased to 7000 Dh, an impossible sum for most locals. The penalty for causing injury was a mandatory jail sentence.

I was caught speeding in Marrakech. The policeman produced the usual ledger with "400 Dh" in large script on the from and demanded the usual fee. Despite my protestations (OK, I was a tad over the 60kph limit) his response was always
"400Dh with a ticket".
Eventually I twigged and said "OK, how much without a ticket?" to which he said "What's your best price?"
I said "50Dh?"
We settled on 100Dh and I was on my way.

Or the time I was pulled over in Rabat...
"What for?"
"You didn't stop at the red light!"
"What red light?"
At which point the policeman reached up and pulled down a leafy branch obscuring...



The red light!
(I had a good laugh and drove off - he wasn't bothered)

All part of Moroccan life. Smile - no-one's pointing an AK47 at you.

Happy trails,

Jojo
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  #12  
Old 25 Nov 2010
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My experience last trip was quite contrary, I got waved down twice but in both cases,they had legitimate beef with my driving - like overtaking in a no-pass zone in Azrou. They scolded me a little and then wished me and family a pleasant journey.
Nobody asked for money. I was surprised, since before they would always ask for a cadeau.
They must have had a raise in salary? Same story in Mauretania, much less corruption last trip than a couple years ago.
Never met the pranksters in TanTan, will keep an eye open in February.
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  #13  
Old 25 Nov 2010
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It increased to 700 Dh but not 7000 Dh. But indeed impossible to pay for most locals but they do not have to pay they have a driving license with points (like in France) and they get instead 4 points substracted. To many points substracted and it's game over then they loose there driving permit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JoJo1 View Post
This was to be increased to 7000 Dh, an impossible sum for most locals.
Jojo
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  #14  
Old 26 Nov 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoJo1 View Post
Hi again,

Mass protests and strikes occurred when the new highway code was initially proposed when I was in Morocco a couple of years ago. The transport strike meant that many areas were without fuel for a couple of weeks. We struggled to get diesel.

The government had stated that the new code was to bring driving standards up to European standards. However, many of the population responded that this would be impossible given the number of traffic lights that didn't work, road markings that were too faint and signs that were missing.

Talking to locals, responses were:
"We're not Swiss!"
"This is all the Belgians' fault"
And most strangely, "We blame the Canadians!"

The proposed fines were pretty draconian too. The standard fine for a minor offence had been 400 dhirams for years - about thirty quid. This was to be increased to 7000 Dh, an impossible sum for most locals. The penalty for causing injury was a mandatory jail sentence.

I was caught speeding in Marrakech. The policeman produced the usual ledger with "400 Dh" in large script on the from and demanded the usual fee. Despite my protestations (OK, I was a tad over the 60kph limit) his response was always
"400Dh with a ticket".
Eventually I twigged and said "OK, how much without a ticket?" to which he said "What's your best price?"
I said "50Dh?"
We settled on 100Dh and I was on my way.

Or the time I was pulled over in Rabat...
"What for?"
"You didn't stop at the red light!"
"What red light?"
At which point the policeman reached up and pulled down a leafy branch obscuring...



The red light!
(I had a good laugh and drove off - he wasn't bothered)

All part of Moroccan life. Smile - no-one's pointing an AK47 at you.

Happy trails,

Jojo
So if you have bad luck and somebody crosses your way and you can not stop and hurt him/her, you go to jail? Is this for everybody or just for locals?

To me it seems that this new highway code is aimed to increase the price of the bribes, so that high-ranking officials (and also who do the 'job) get more money.

Last edited by qwer1234; 26 Nov 2010 at 21:57.
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  #15  
Old 27 Nov 2010
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Yup, these two had me April 2009.

I came to am almost complete stop and then proceeded across the line. They then stepped out and pulled me over.

At first I thought it was a routine passport check but they also asked for my license. Once they had my license the 'demand' for 400DH was mentioned.

I paid up and was then 'set free'... I will remember the bargaining techniques mentioned above next time I'm passing through
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