Prostitutes working on the street outside a town northern Spain have been ordered to wear reflective vests to make them visible to passing traffic and reduce the risk of accidents.
Women touting for customers on a rural highway outside Els Alamus near Lleida in Catalonia have been told to don the yellow fluorescent bibs or pay fines of 40 euros (£36) under road traffic laws.
Police claim the sex workers on the LL-11 road are not being specifically targeted because of what they do but because they posed a danger to drivers.
The prostitutes are in breach of 2004 law which states pedestrians on major highways and hard shoulders must wear the high visibility garments.
A spokesman for the regional police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra said: “In the past couple of months the prostitutes have been fined for two reasons: for not wearing the reflective jacket and for creating danger on the public highway.”
The move follows recent legislation introduced by Els Alamus town hall to ban prostitutes from offering sex for sale in public urban areas. The mayor Josep Maria Bea has been accused of mounting a campaign to drive the sex workers out of the area.
An estimated 300,000 women work as prostitutes in Spain where prostitution is not illegal but profiting from the sale of sex by another is.
Women wearing very little clothing and standing on roadsides outside towns and cities are a common sight across Spain. A recent survey found one in four Spanish men admitted to having paid for sex. (Source)