New traffic regulations come into force today, Monday 21st March with a raft of new measures and stiffer penalties for the unwary motorist.
The Director General of Spain´s DGT, Pere Navarro, described the changes as an investment in the future with the aim of reducing the number of traffic accidents on main roads as well as in urban areas.
The key changes include:
- Using (or holding) a phone while driving.
- Overtaking cyclists.
- Belt, helmet and child seats.
- More serious fines.
- Stopping or parking on a bike path.
- Light fines for cyclists.
- Changing lanes when overtaking.
- ‘Alcolock’ on buses.
Most notably motorist will see the doubling of point deducted from licenses from 3 to 6 for driving while holding mobile phone devices and an increase from 3 to 4 points deducted for not using seat belts, child restraint systems, helmet, and other protective elements.
In addition, it now classifies as a serious offence “carrying in the vehicle” radar or other detection mechanisms, which will result in a penalty of 200 Euros and the loss of 3 points.
There are stricter rules for overtaking so that that cars and motorcycles may exceed the speed limits on conventional roads by a maximum of 20 kph when overtaking another vehicle in order to curtail the number of head-on collisions, which are a particular scourge on B roads.
In 2019 there were 239 road deaths from such causes.
The changes also introduces the possibility of recovering 2 points of the licence for the completion of the safe driving courses certified by the General Directorate of Traffic.
It includes a new “very serious” offence, committing driving test fraud using unauthorized intercom devices. The penalty will be 500 euro and a penalty of 6 months without being able to attend the exam.
For the first time there will be a on-line access to the driver registry is provided for companies that transport people and goods so that they can find out if a workers’ driving licence is valid or not.
There are further speed restrictions in urban areas so that single carriageway limit is 20 kilometres per hour. On roads with a single lane in each direction of traffic, the limit will be 30 kilometres per hour. On roads with two or more lanes per direction of traffic, the limit will remain at 50 kilometres per hour.
From now on electric scooters and any vehicle defined as “with one or more wheels equipped with a single seat and powered exclusively by electric motor whose speed is between 6 and 25 kilometres per hour is prohibited from using pedestrian zones and pavements.
Similar vehicles for people reduced mobility are excluded from this.
The minimum age required to drive lorries is reduced to 18 years after having passed the 280-hour
Professional Aptitude Certificate (CAP). Until now the established age was 21 years.
The minimum age required to drive coaches is also reduced to 18 years, but only without passengers and within a maximum radius of 50 km.
There is an increase from 3,500 kg to 4,250 kg the weight of vans that can be driven in national territory with the B permit for the transport of goods.