Being a member of the media does not give you immunity from the law, as many have found to their detriment. You have to obey all road regulations and behave in the appropriate manner.
Of course, during media launches, some may bend the rules a bit in order to test the cars properly, especially if the launch happens to be about the 557HP Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG. Would you be able to resist exploring that fire-breathing twin-turbo sedan or estate? Thought so…
The weird thing is that, no less than 18 journalists from the U.S. were stopped by the local police not for violating any laws but because they did not have an International Driver’s License!
This is a card issued to those travelling abroad that testifies you’re in possession of a valid American driving license and, according to the report, is not even required to drive in Spain.
Nevertheless, the officers had none of that: they not only held the journalists in a nearby parking lot for two hours and banned them from participating in the rest of Mercedes’ test drive; they also impounded six of the cars.
Eventually, Mercedes-Benz people came to the rescue. All they could do was free the journalists, though, as the cars remain impounded for an indefinite time.
Company spokesman Christan Bokich said: “No fines were paid, no charges were brought and no bribes were given.”
This is the first time we've heard of such an incident. Moreover, the fact that Spain is a very popular venue for new car launches makes the whole situation even more absurd.
By Andrew Tsaousis