The Guardia Civil officer on the phone

There has been a lot of controversy and discussion about a picture that emerged on the internet of a Guardia Civil officer, driving a marked patrol car, but clearly using a mobile telephone.

In order to clarify the position of police officers and mobile phones, The Leader have spoken to federation representatives of the police, who have explained that the legality of an officer using a mobile phone whilst driving is dependent on who he, or she, is speaking to, and the reason for the call.

Article 11, paragraph 3 of the traffic act relating to mobile phone use, expressly prohibits using a mobile phone whilst driving. However, as the federation spokesperson explains, there is an exemption from that prohibition for “enforcement officers in the exercise of the functions attributed to them”.

So, in other words, if a law enforcement officer is phoning their mother, or lover, or ordering pizza, then they are covered by the same laws as the rest of us. But, if the call is expressly relating to the functions and duties of the role of that officer, then the exception clause is valid and no offence has been committed.

So, if you do see a police officer on the phone, perhaps asking who they are talking to would satisfy your curiosity and the law, but then again, it might just be best to leave them be.

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