New Spanish Driving Rules & Speed Limits Set To Take Force

The final elements of the DGT ( Directorate-General for Traffic) new road and  traffic regulations are set to come into force – 6 months after the regulations were announced by the Minister for the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, in January of this year.

The new regulations will see increased penalty fines and points and reduced speed limits on urban roads.

The package of legal reforms aims to generate a new model of road safety in Spain as well as align them  with fellow European Union countries as well as World Health Organisation recommendations and with it reduce the number of road fatalities in the country by 50 per cent.

In 2020 there were 870 road deaths in Spain compared to 1,101 in 2019 – though that number does reflect a significantly lower number of road trips due to the lockdown and mobility restrictions in place.

The regulations were announced on January 2nd, 2021, though some restrictions such as the changes to urban speed are only now taking effect so that motorists have had the opportunity to become accustomed to the changes.

The main provisions of the regulations are:

Mobile Phones

The penalty for using a mobile device whislt driving doubles to six points off the license.

Seat Belts, Child Restraints and Helmets

Those who do not wear a seat belt, helmet or not use a child restraint system will see a four-point reduction from their driving licence.

The new regulations include the improper use of safety equipment, for example where a belt or helmet is used without fastening.

The new regulation stipulates that the consequences of not wearing or fitting them correctly are the same as not wearing them at all.

Radar Detection Equipment
Those found to be using radar detection devices will now be fined 500 Euros and lose three driving licence points.

The law states states that a driver only has to be in possession of a device to be sanctioned.

Speed Limits When Overtaking
Speedlimits on overtaking on conventional roads must not be exceeded by more than 20 km/h.
The vast majority of  head-on collisions in Spain are on single lane country roads whilst overtaking.

New Speed Restrictions For Urban Roads
In general speed limits on urban roads will now be reduced and will depend on the classification of the road:

On roads that have a single lane and pavement, the limit is set at 20 km/h.
On roads with a single lane in each direction, the limit is set at 30 km/h.
On roads with two lanes each way, the limit is set at 50 km/h.

Driving Test Fraud
Those found to be committing driving test fraud and using unauthorised intercom devices will now receive a 500 Euro fine and be prohibited from sitting another test for six months.
Drivers can recover two lost points by attending a road safety course
Drivers will be able to recover two lost driving licence points if they complete an officially recognised DGT driving course.

Lower Age Limit For HGV vehicle and coach drivers
The age for HGV drivers is reduced from 21 to 18 after having passed the 280-hour Certificate of Professional Aptitude (CAP).
18-year-olds will also be permitted to drive coaches, but without passengers and within a maximum radius of 50 km.
From 21 years, they will be able to drive a coach with passengers but will need to complete the 280-hour CAP.

Personal Mobility Vehicles
A major change to the regulations will be with personal mobility vehicles defined as vehicles with one or more wheels and equipped with a single seat and powered by electric motors with a speed of between 6 and 25 km/h, such as scooters.
Such vehicles will no longer be able to circulate on pavements or pedestrian zones including interurban roads, crossings, highways, urban highways and urban tunnels.
In addition, these types of vehicles will have to comply with traffic regulations and will have to have a certificate of circulation to certify that they meet technical requirements.
Disabled users are exempt from the rules where those vehicles are used because of a person´s reduced mobility.

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