the last warning of the Civil Guard

Probably, most of you will remember the humor program that José Mota did on public television. A space in which we met such picturesque characters as Bartolo or La vieja del visillo, that lady who could not control her gossipy vein and, sheltered behind the curtain of one of the windows of her house, did not lose detail of everything that happened around it. The Civil Guard has used this famous ‘sketch’ to warn about a practice that can cost more than 200 euros: the danger of being an ‘old lady’ behind the wheel.

Called ‘Effect of the old woman in the curtain’ or ‘Effect Mirón’, it is something that frequently occurs when a breakdown or accident occurs on the road. The correct behaviour, in these cases, is to remain focused on driving without getting distracted… but that’s not what usually happens. Many look away to see what happened: “If you see an accident on the road and the Traffic Civil Guard is already there, as well as the health teams, do not stop to look around.”

more accidents

When a driver takes their eyes off the road to check out what’s going on in another lane or on the shoulder, they also slow down. This gesture, according to the Civil Guard, “It can turn one accident into two, three or many more.” Something that the DGT also has an impact on: “Taking your eyes off driving and directing it to see an accident is a very common situation that can lead to another accident.”

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And it is that the ‘Old curtain effect’ can cause two types of accident. On the one hand, by losing sight of the trajectory of our car we can’t keep a safe distance necessary and we run the risk of colliding with the vehicle in front. On the other hand, slowing down makes it easier for a rear-end collision to occur.

Traffic jams and inconvenience for emergency services

It is not the only consequence of the ‘Old Curtain Effect’. Slowing down to see what happened on the road creates traffic back-ups: both going in the direction of the incident and in the opposite direction. A situation that leads us to a more dangerous effect of this behavior: delay the arrival (and even the departure to the health center) of the emergency services due to the traffic jam generated by the rest of the vehicles.

The fine

Thus, the Civil Guard recalls in one of its latest publications on social networks what is the sanction attached to this type of behavior: “If you are one of those people who brakes or to record an accident, you know that you are committing an infraction that will cost you 200 euros”. Although they emphasize that the fine is not the most expensive, but the danger caused to other drivers.

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The exeption

There is only one case in which we would be obliged to slow down and stop when seeing an incident on the road: if we are the first to see it. In this case, we must apply the PAS Protocol: Protect, Warn and Help.

Or what is the same: to protect both the place and ourselves, warn to the emergency services, providing fundamental data on the location, number of vehicles, injured, their condition, special circumstances… and help only if the professionals have not arrived, staying with the injured and providing first aid whenever we know how to do it.

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