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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  #16  
Old 25 Feb 2009
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I think the gist of this is to always be aware of who and whats around you. If you are riding alone and an unmarked car tries to pull you over then dont burn off at 100mph ride steadily and within the law and make your way to a lit area with some people around or better still pull up at the Police station this way they will know you are happy to be questioned.

Another point why would you be using the secondary roads after dark ?
If you are trying to progress through a place you may as well use the main roads at night. Personally after dark is for eating drinking and getting my head down.
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  #17  
Old 26 Feb 2009
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I had a similar situation in Brazil..

I was riding with 2 Americans and a Canadian couple at the time.

I was at the back and this unmarked car kept coming up beside me shouting "POLICIA POLICA" and waving me to pull over.

At traffic lights etc he kept saying that he was a police officer and that I should follow him..

I was tempted as you just cant be sure in some places of who is official and who's not..

In the end I just kept saying "no Falo Portuguesa" and kept riding. In the end, he got bored and peeled off.

Like people have said. Don't follow unmarked cars anywhere and don't go out of public view if you think its a bit dodgy.
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  #18  
Old 26 Feb 2009
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I'm spanish and I think this is a fake. I have never heard about it.

You can drive by night as much as you want. This is a safe corner.

+Guardia Civil are strict policemans but will not shoot you just because you didn't stopped. That doesn't means you don't have to stop, it's just that this is a normal place and sometimes it looks like you're talking about who knows what kind of banana republic.
Act the same way you'd do at home.


The only problem can be in big citys (inside or in the approach roads). If you're driving a car, a scooter can stop next to you and tell you that you have a puncture. They sometimes even ***** your tire. Then they stop with you as if they're going to help. When you get out of the car you open the doors and then they can take something and escape with the scooter.
Just "say thank's" to them and do not open the doors until they leave. + inside big citys with traffic jams I allways drive with the doors locked as I have allready seen a thief oppening a boot and stealing some bag.

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  #19  
Old 26 Feb 2009
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Well said vander, good advice
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  #20  
Old 27 Feb 2009
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Exclamation

It's more likely to happen in the UK...

BBC NEWS | England | Manchester | Fake officer steals car with baby

I'm not a fan of sending emails around of potential dangers though. Often the spammers want people to circulate their misinformation for them and sadly there are many who are only too willing / gullible.

There are dangers out there... everywhere. A few weeks ago a friend was held at gunpoint in a tesco metro in one of the Wealthiest towns in England. Should email warnings be sent out warning of potential armed robberies in Tesco? No!

Use common sense and best judgement. Better to lose a few belongings and a vehicle than be shot dead
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  #21  
Old 27 Feb 2009
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Safety in Spain

Following on from the previous comments, particularly those of the Spanish members, I'd like to reassure travellers that this is not happening.
Guardia Civil are hard but fair and carry guns because it's the law here and not because they have a penchant for shooting people!
I have lived here for nearly five years and in that time have encountered nothing but civility from Guardia Civil. (Maybe that's where the name comes from)
Example: Long story short, recently stopped towing a trailer that was too big for the vehicle (illegal), with no number plate on (illegal), in my partners 4x4, with none of my papers (no ID, Illegal) by the Guardia. As my catalogue of errors was exposed, we ended up laughing, a 30 euro fine and a physical (yes literally) boot up the ass!
I'd like to see that in the UK!
The Guardia are serious people, to be taken seriously and I would think the most life threatening thing possible would be to impersonate one. There are much easier ways to rob someone, which are infinitely less potentially life shortening.
If you are really in doubt about stopping or being stopped, just shout GASOLINERA (petrol station) and point ahead, then ride at a reasonable pace. Real Guardia will follow you there to stop in a well lit environment, they are not in the business of frightening people, only upholding the law.
Generally Guardia are only to be found in well-lit places, as it makes it easier for them to see your ID etc (they love Repsol petrol stations, if you're looking to avoid them. I think it's the equivalent of the "Wild Bean Cafe". Also they generally can't be arsed with the inconvenience of patrolling some back road in the middle of the night.
Hope this helps someone, there's bad people everywhere, but a bit of common sense will see you through, as always.
Happy travels!
Tim
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  #22  
Old 27 Feb 2009
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Good

That's really amusing. I know someone who having visited Spain came back saying that she chatted to a policeman with a triangular hat. I think that's the Guardia Civil uniform. She mentioned the unusual style of hat. He replied that it enables them to lean against a wall dozing without the hat tipping up. Linzi.
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  #23  
Old 28 Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by men8ifr View Post
Isn't the bends bad for you?
Only if you put yourself under pressure whilst going around them...
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  #24  
Old 28 Feb 2009
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Like the photo - GC stoppie!

I spent six weeks driving all over Spain in summer '08 and never had any interaction with the police or GC
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  #25  
Old 3 Mar 2009
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A friend was don over in exactly this way near Madird last year.
He was driving a 4x4 with a trailer load of bikes for a tour he was helping with.
Got pulled off the main route onto a side road by an unmarked car with 4 men inside in uniforms. They made them get out of their vehicle to look for 'drugs', - found their trip kitty-Yes i know daft to have it about- but not expecting this it was in the glove box. ~Also got their wallets on the 'drugs' one. Made a quick exit leaving the two stunned and unable to get back on the main highway due to the slip road they were on.. he said it was pretty intimidating with 4 'uniformed' shouting at them...

Scare stories make people paranoid but if he had known about the possibilty of this scam then maybe he would have had less cash about!?

Got to drive my lorry down thru Spain soon so will let you know if i see them again !
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  #26  
Old 11 Mar 2009
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I've done a fair bit of solo two wheeled travelling in Spain and have never had a problem with the Guardia Civil real or fake.

The only time I thought I had a problem was when two motorcycle mounted Guardia romped up the slip road and joined me. I slowed down and they sandwiched me for about 15 miles before the rear marker pulled alongside and gestured with a winding arm action and a big grin for me to open her up a bit and have some fun. I was on a ZZR1400 at the time so, with a thumbs up I obliged and accelerated into the distance. They never bothered to pursue me.

Later at a Repsol forecourt another Guardia approached and I thought it was going get interesting. Turns out he was just interested in the bike.

Like a previous poster said, "night time in Spain is for eating drinking and getting your head down" the back roads are best enjoyed in daylight when you can appreciate them.
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  #27  
Old 19 Mar 2009
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Has no-one ever been tempted to take a surprise pop at roadside bandits in Spain?
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  #28  
Old 21 Mar 2009
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Yes, if you are a couple of hundred feet under water!
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  #29  
Old 27 Apr 2009
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hi all,

i've just come across this here but been sent this email by friends. I'm half spanish and have lived in southern spain for eight years.

I know of personal experiences whereby friends have been stopped by fake civil guards on secondary roads outside of Madrid whereby everything valuable was taken, i know of two friends and colleagues this has happened to. So it has happend and it was even mentioned on spanish tv.

However, as far as the Guardia Civil go they DO ask you to get out of the car and you SHOULD comply if they request you to do so. I live not far from Gibraltar and I've been stopped no fewer than 3 times by the civil guard on my 13 mile trip to work. This area of Cadiz is a transient point of hashis runs and illegal immigrants so these road blocks can appear quiet frequently. Also, if a particular area is suffering from robberies, street racing or any other illegal activity then the civil guard get drafted in and set up road blocks everywhere.

You don't want to get on the wrong side of these fellows, generally now very professional and curteous unlike the Franco days, I think they do a good job on stamping down on things. I would agree that should you feel uncomfortable stopping where they suggest then pull over at the next REPSOL or town but generally they'll only pull you over in laybys like that anyway.
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  #30  
Old 3 May 2009
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First at all, a lot of Guardia Civiles are bikers themselves and ride BMW R80. They are serious and they know the risks every biker has to deal. But they also know the risks some of us are spreading on the roads. Is their job. We usually ride too much self confident taking decisions fast wich put our goals over the too much strict and stupid traffic rules. I had to deal with irish, american, african and spanish policemen. I hate all of them because i ride fast (not crazy), but with the spanish ones you can explain your point of wiew and sometimes they can balance all the facts. Forget about with americans: rule is rule. And with most of africans, the solution is just in your wallet. My advise in Spain is respect them and look deep into your responsability. Probably they are right. Your advantage as foraigners is you are not going to loose the driver license, just paying a fine you should get a receipt.

And about the robbery, it´s a fake. If the Guardia Civil stops you, you will know inmediatly they are the Guardia Civil. And if you have any problem with the bike, be sure they are not going to let you down on the road. They are good workers, but I hate all of them. I lost some time ago my driver licence because they are too good. I got it back because I am very bold, but that is another story.
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