Although Maltese laws are clear about driving on roads, Police Superintendent Sandro Camilleri stated that a number of new regular practices were introduced during years which he described as illegal.
Parking in front of a garage, smoking and eating or beard trimming while driving. There are occasions that Police officers encounter daily on Maltese roads and, despite the rules, they breach the law.
Superintendent Sandro Camilleri told Television Malta that in recent years new customs were noted on Malta’s roads which, he said, are illegal. Among others, he mentioned parking in front of a garage which for many persons, it is a practice to park and leave a phone number on the vehicle so that the owner may be contacted. He stressed that the only way where a person may park in front of a garage is that the person remains in his vehicle.
“Anyone with a garage which indicates that it is being used, and that a vehicle is regularly parked in the garage, no one should park in front of this garage”.
He added that if the Police is on site and has to phone the person to remove the vehicle, the latter should also get a ticket. If the person is not found, the vehicle is towed.
“Obviously, the Police usually phones a person, telling him/her to come and remove the vehicle in front of the garage; however he should receive a police ticket because he obstructed the garage”, the Superintendent stated. “And not after we phone the person who comes along to remove it he tells you ‘are you giving me a ticket after I removed it? You caused an obstruction, apart the fact that we phoned you and having kept a person at home from leaving his house”.
Supt Camilleri stressed, however, that even the garage owner has to abide by the law as practices have been noted whereby a garage is not being used to park a vehicle. According to the law, not even the garage owner himself cannot park infront of his garage, because the only right he has is to have free access to the garage.
“The garage cannot be used as a warehouse or as a kitchen, as some persons do….a motor vehicle should regularly be used to enter and exit the garage.
As to driving on roads, the Superintendent stated that during driving, one has to have absolute control of the vehicle even if he stops in traffic. This means that food, drinks and smoking is prohibited at any time while the vehicle is on the road.
“We notice many persons buying pastizzi or other food, drive and eat. This is illegal. Drinking and driving…….persons drive on the side of a road, drink and then drive away. This applies also to smoking and driving, which is not accepted by many drivers….these are all illegal practices because you have to be in absolute control of the vehicle”.
This is the reality of new practices that members of the Police Traffic Section encounter every morning, including persons doing make-up, hair styling and even beard trimming.
Mr Camilleri stated that despite that a driver thinks he/she is doing nothing wrong while driving, these are illegal practices and a driver should follow the driving code in order to avoid danger to other persons on roads and ultimately to the person driving the vehicle.