Women practicing the oldest profession in the world on a rural highway outside Els Alamús, a 678 inhabitant Spanish town situated in the county of Segrià in Lleida, Catalonia, have been told to wear yellow fluorescent bibs, or pay fines of 40 euros ($55).
Police claim the sex workers on the LL-11 road are not being targeted because of what they do but because they posed a danger to drivers by not adhering to the road traffic laws.
The sex workers are in defiance of a 2004 law that says pedestrians on major highways and berms must wear the high visibility vests.
A spokesman for the local police force 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.”
Fining follows recent laws introduced by Els Alamús town hall to ban prostitutes from soliciting 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.
Prostitution is not illegal in Spain (it is illegal to make profit out of sexually exploiting somebody), and is the main and often only source of income of over 300,000 women. A recent survey found one in four Spanish men admitted to having paid for sex.