The Spanish town of Puigcerdà has come up with a novel way of rewarding those drivers who behave themselves: give them the cash which was collected in fines from those who don't.
The objective of the cunning plan is, according to mayor Joan Planella, "to get people to drive better and to show residents that respecting the law has its rewards".
Planella added: "The idea came to us when we were wondering what we could do to promote responsible behaviour."
The scheme will take all the fines from 2009 - around €40,000 - and divide them between the locally-registered drivers who picked up not so much as a parking ticket. These saintly motorists will receive a cheque for an as-yet-undisclosed amount, but El Periódico estimates the total to be a modest €10-€12 per head. ®
The maths are as follows: there are 6,500 registered cars in Puigcerdà, so El Periódico's estimate is based on the assumption that there are between 3,300 and 4,000 exemplary motorists in the town. Those of you with experience of Spanish driving and parking habits are welcome to challenge this figure.