Depending on the role they need to fulfil, the Guardia Civil traffic department has a range of vehicles at their disposal. Sometimes, it´s necessary for them to use unmarked or camouflaged vehicles in the course of law enforcement.
In the case of the vehicle pictured with this article, we are looking at a Toyota which is fitted with radar speed detecting equipment, actually the Multanova 6F, and is mostly used for speed checks on major roads.
However, there are also other unmarked vehicles on the roads and we´d like to explain some of the identifying features of these cars, not so you can avoid detection if you are breaking the law, but as there have been a few occasions where criminals have pretended to be the police to stop innocent victims and carry out robberies, we want to make sure you know how to identify a real unmarked traffic car that might be trying to stop you.
At the front of the vehicle there are blue lights hidden in the grill. These will be illuminated and flash in the event of the vehicle responding to an emergency, or in the event that the officers are trying to stop you.
In the front window, on the passenger side, the sun visor has been replaced by an illuminated display. This will display the words “G.Civil”, “Trafico” and “Alto”, or stop, alternating. These words are displayed in reverse, so that they will be visible and easy to read in your rear view mirror.
You might also spot other equipment in the window, but remember, the vehicle we are looking at here is a radar car and not all unmarked vehicles are fitted with this type of equipment.
As we move along this vehicle, we will see that the officer is dressed in a high visibility uniform, as worn only by the traffic officers. When the Guardia Civil traffic officers are patrolling in unmarked cars, they will always, without exception, be wearing a variation of this type of uniform, with high visibility features.
It is important to note though that other departments of both the Guardia Civil and police use unmarked cars, such as detectives for example, but those officers will not be wearing this uniform. Another important point is that it is only Guardia Civil traffic officers who are wearing the high visibility uniform who are allowed to take money from you as payment of traffic fines. In the event of an officer from another department coming across an incident on the roads, they will always call for the traffic department to take charge, issue fines and take any money that may be due in fines. Only the officers in the high visibility uniforms bearing Guardia Civil Trafico are allowed to take money, this is important.
Looking towards the rear of the vehicle, we can see that the windows are laminated with tinting. This is not an exclusive feature of unmarked or camouflaged cars, but in the back window there is another hidden illuminated display.
This display will once again say the words “G.Civl”, “Trafico” and “Alto”, alternating and accompanied by flashing blue lights on the matrix. The cars also carry a detachable rooftop blue light, but it is unlikely this will be used as part of the procedure to stop you.
Always remember the key point of identifying a Guardia Civil Trafico Car. The matrix sign in the front and rear and the officers wearing uniforms. If you are ever in any doubt as to whether you have been stopped by a real Guardia Civil patrol, you can always call 062 and quote the registration number of the vehicle, but these key points, we hope, will also help you stay a little safer on the roads.