Last night saw our first encounter with the local constabulary. As we were driving down into town for dinner a car coming the other way didn’t stay close enough to its side on a narrow road and so consequently we hit wing mirrors. It was a minor bump and everyone was fine, but the driver’s wing mirror on each car was broken.
As with all traffic accidents here, the police had to be called. Miri rang 911 and was told that the local office would be informed. She only told them we were in Rincon, but amazingly enough about 5 mins later a police cruiser showed up (they must have located us from the mobile phone signal). The young girl driving the other car spoke about as much English as we did Spanish and the police spoke less.
Miri also called our car rental company who told us to make sure we got the relevant accident report details from the police. We managed to get through the paperwork (driving licences, car registration, insurance etc.) although my UK driving licence and lack of social security number (still waiting for it to arrive) caused a few raised eyebrows. I was able to use the best part of my Spanish (los numeros) to give my phone number, age and number of years driving experience.
About half way through this, another police car showed up, so we had 3 cops and 2 cars with lights flashing away for our little broken wing mirror incident, which seemed like overkill!
There was lots of fast Spanish going on between the police and the girl, most of which we couldn’t follow, so we’re not entirely sure what she told them and they never really asked for us to explain the accident, but they were friendly enough and gave us the info we will need to pursue an insurance claim. We just have to phone the police station today to get the accident report number. No doubt a great flurry of red tape will come our way once the car rental & credit card insurance companies get involved!
Ironically, Miri had planned to start driving here today (after 2 weeks of procrastination), but for some inexplicable reason she has now decided to postpone this event! 🙂