A court in the Extremadura town of Zafra has fined a farm owner for modifying the white lines on the road in order to seemingly allow him permission to enter his property.
The man was fined 1,440 euro, the equivalent to 6 euro per day for 8 months, and 14 days community service.
Solid white lines indicate areas where vehicles are not permitted to cross the line. In the event of a centre line being solid, it is not possible to cross that line for any reason, including overtaking or accessing or egressing junctions. The only exception is if that line is broken, or broken on one side, which indicates that you are allowed to cross.
Seemingly knowing that the markings indicated that the farm owner was not allowed to cross the line to enter his property, the man took it upon himself to break the solid line, thus giving the impression that the manoeuvre was permitted.
Prosecutors considered this to create a “serious risk” to other road users, as the solid line concept is designed to afford increased protection from vehicles crossing the path of others. In this case, the area near to a bend and a dip in the road, which made the area increasingly dangerous due to a reduction in visibility and reaction time.
Although this type of activity is relatively rare on main roads, the instances always occur in areas of heightened risk, which is why the prosecutor considers the activity to be so serious. The matter is covered by the Penal Code and is so serious that it can lead to a custodial sentence of up to two years.
The occurrence of road marking changes are more common in local authority areas where access to individual homes require licencing through the Vado scheme, although some residents ignore this requirements and create their own access routes.
Road markings and signs are there to help all road users, and in areas where additional protection is considered important, it is crucial to be alert for potential hazards.