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Police fine driver for talking to passenger

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Police fine driver for talking to passenger
The AUCG Civil Guard say the fine is a result of agents trying to hit productivity standards . File photo: Cristian Bortes
18:03 CET+01:00
Police have fined a driver in Spain's Canary Islands €40 ($55) for taking his eyes off the road to talk to a passenger in his vehicle.

"I was talking with my friend, a normal conversation," Armando C.S. from Gran Canaria told Spain's El País newspaper.

"It was 11am, there were no cars on the road and I wasn't speeding. There was nothing and no one," the driver said.

But then a Civil Guard officer pulled the driver over and slapped him with a €40 fine for not paying attention to the road. He had looked repeatedly at the passenger next to him, the agent explained. 

"I kept smiling but only out of indignation," Armando C.S told El País.

He has decided not to appeal the decision but only because he believes it will only make the whole ordeal more expensive.

And even sources within the Civil Guard have admitted the fine is excessive.

"The fine is certainly correct but it would have been enough to pull the driver over and give him a warning," said Civil Guard union AUGC.

The union said the fine was probably the result of rules which meant officer had to hand out a certain number of penalties to pocket a €240 productivity bonus.

The AUGC cited the case of a woman who was fined  in Las Palmas for drinking the yoghurt drink Actimel while driving as a similar case.

It's better to give out the fines because "nobody wants to come last in their unit", said the Civil Guard union, slamming the current fines system.

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