From April, Italy introduced a law that forced motorists to wear reflective jackets when they get out of their cars in the event of a breakdown at night or in poor visibility. Drivers not wearing such an item will face an on-the-spot fine of E138 in Italy and one of E91 in Spain, when the law is enforced on July 24.
The AA Motoring Trust based in the UK is urging British drivers who find themselves broken down while travelling overseas not to remain in their stranded vehicles because they fear a fine, but to leave their vehicles and stand away from the road.
Andrew Howard, head of road safety for the AA Motoring Trust, said: 'Discussions with motoring groups, road and police authorities, and tourist boards for Italy and Spain have produced conflicting advice on the implementation of the new law.
'The Italian and Spanish tourist offices have now confirmed that drivers must carry a reflective jacket in their cars at all times. In Italy, the law applies to all roads, both inside and outside towns and cities, and in Spain all motorways, main and busy roads.
'They also say that vehicle occupants who can stand safely at some distance from the road don't need to wear reflective jackets. They must not stand on or near the edge of the road, or loiter in and out of the car without a jacket. However, our advice is to take fluorescent jackets with you and always use them when necessary.'