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It is not uncommon to see items being carried on the seats of cars, such as shopping on the back seat, but what is often surprising is when those vehicles are stopped and the driver is issued with a fine, because you can be fined for having a shopping bag on the back seat, or any seat for that matter, and not just your shopping.

In general terms, the passenger compartment of a vehicle is designed for passengers, and the boot for goods, which includes shopping. Fundamentally, everything carried in or on a vehicle must be secure, such as people wearing seatbelts, and having your shopping on the back seat contravenes that rule, because even if you secure the bag, in the event of a collision, the contents can become projectiles which can cause considerable damage when they are thrown forward, maintaining the momentum of the vehicle prior to the sudden slowdown or stop.

The legislation in this regard is clear. Article 14 of the General Traffic Regulations reflects this: “The load transported in a vehicle, as well as the accessories used for its conditioning or protection, must be arranged and, if necessary, secured in such a way that they cannot drag, fall totally or partially or move in a dangerous manner.”

Failure to comply with this rule carries a fine of up to 200 euro. And the agents are controlling this type of behaviour, due to the danger associated with it. According to data from the DGT, when braking and due to the effect of inertia, any object traveling loose in the rear of the vehicle multiplies its weight by 40 when traveling at 50 km/h.

Thus, for example, a laptop, flying towards passengers, becomes a stone weighing 85 kilos. The gym backpack, in a 160 kilo tuna, and the mobile phone in a 4 kilo cat. Any object traveling at that speed can cause serious injuries.

Furthermore, a person who is not properly restrained, for example small children in their child seat, can suffer irreparable damage and also cause damage to the front occupants.

Having items loose on the seat also carries a security risk, in that there are countless cases of handbags, for example, and mobile phones, snatched from the seats of cars.

Animals too must be secured. There are straps and nets on the market to secure the load to the rear seats and avoid both an incident and the fine of 200 euro.

In addition, pets must also travel subject to the tie-down points of the rear seats, since fines ranging between 80 euro are imposed (if the animal is loose in the car) and between 200 and 500 euro if it is located in the driver ‘s compartment.

If the animal is carried in a case, then that case must be secured.

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