Street prostitutes working near the Catalan city of Lleida now share a uniform: fluorescent yellow vests. Local police have ordered the women, who troll a local highway for work, to put on the high-visibility clothing in order to prevent road accidents. Anyone who opts out of the brightly coloured bib faces a $57 fine by the Mossos d’Esquadra, the regional police.
A spokesman for the force emphasized that officers were not singling the women out; prostitution in Spain is legal in most cities (though pimping is not). Instead, this crackdown is in accordance with a 2004 law, which stipulates that anyone on a highway, including those with broken-down cars, must wear a fluorescent bib.
Most women have incorporated the sleeveless jackets into their previous uniform of short skirts, tall boots, and revealing tops. The police say that if they continue to abide by the law, the women have no other reason to face fines. After all, the road they work falls just outside the boundaries of Lleida, one city that recently banned street prostitution.