Posts tagged with "driving in spain"

Spain’s New Traffic Regulations 2014

This coming July will be the 9th
anniversary of the introduction of a points based driving licence here in
Spain. Since then, road accidents have dropped by 65%, so no one can be
critical of that particular legislation.

Now more changes are planned.
Recently, the Director General of Traffic (DGT) stated that the purpose of the
new proposed changes was to further reduce the number of deaths and accidents
on the road.

As a consequence, several changes
concern vehicle speeds. On some segments, motorway speeds will increase from
120 to 130kph. By contrast, urban speed limits will reduce from 50 to 30kph.
It’s claimed the reduction of 20kph, will uplift the survival chances from 5%
to 50%, of any pedestrian involved in a car collision. The plan is to further
reduce the speed limit, where pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles are in
close proximity, and on secondary roads where some 75% of road accidents occur.

Predictably, opponents of the
government are voicing the view that the plans are little to do with improved
safety on the roads, but everything to do with raising revenue through fines.

However, some changes seem
completely sensible. For example, if a test of a driver shows a ”mere presence
of a drug” it’s guilty as charged and a large fine will be imposed together
with 6 massive points coming off the driving licence. There’s an increased fine
for drink drivers too. The introduction of saliva testing for both drug and
alcohol presence will ensure none of these idiots will be able to escape
prosecution.

Drugs and alcohol tests for
pedestrians who jay walk – not just those who are involved in a traffic
accident are on the cards. There are also plans for a total ban on speed camera
detectors.

The new regulations are not all
about restrictions though – rules that restrict the right of cancer patients to
drive will be relaxed. Currently, doctors have to specifically support a cancer
patient’s right to drive and to liaise with DGT on their behalf. The plan now
is to relax such restrictions.

New rules will be introduced setting
out deadlines for the registration in Spain of foreign registered vehicles.
Authorities claim it is difficult to track down owners at present, making fine
collection almost impossible.

It’s likely that police will be able
to fine drivers for offences without having to pull them over. However, before
this change, and all the others mentioned, come into force – they will first
have to be published in the official state bulletin.

A final aim of the changes is to
promote cycling and the use of bicycles. To this end, children under 16 will
need to wear cycling helmets. Furthermore cyclists will be allowed to travel
below the minimum speed limit. This illustrates extreme naivity on the part of
the reformists. As a regular pedestrian and vehicle user, it’s possible to
claim with certainty that cyclists do not take any notice of existing road
traffic rules – like traffic lights and pedestrian crossings, so why assume
they will obey any new regulations. It would be interesting to see statistics
relating to accidents caused by cyclists riding 3, often 4 abreast!

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Posted by on 03/30/2014 09:37:00

Driving In Spain

There seems to be a perception that driving rules and attitudes to driving in Spain are much more lax than the UK.
If you own a property in Spain and live here or are a regular visitor – and are an owner or regular car user here – then it’s important that you realise that this is not the case.

Just as in the UK, the police here have regular purges on speeding, so it’s important, as you drive around, that
you pay attention to the speed signs. This guide will hopefully help too –

· Autopista (motorway eg AP7 or E90, often toll roads) – max speed 120kph or 73mph

· Autovia (dual carriageway, eg A8) – limits vary from 80 to 110kph

· Carretera National (highways with road prefixes of C or CN) – speeds are as signed

If you are stopped for speeding, it’s likely that the police officer will also check to make sure you are carrying
all that is legally required. This is –

· Two red EU warning triangles

· Enough florescent jackets for the number of seats in the car.

· A spare pair, if you wear corrective glasses

· Current driving licence – a certified copy is acceptable

·  ITV paperwork – a certified copy is acceptable

· Vehicle log book – a certified copy is acceptable

Though not a legal requirement, it’s suggested that you also carry your road tax payment receipt and car insurance policy with receipt.

Additionally the police could well take note of other legal requirements –

· There must be nothing on rear seats (passengers apart). The logic is that shopping could roll off and
cause the driver to lose control of the car.

· All windows must be clean.

· The number plates must be visible and not mud splattered.

· The driver must not be using a mobile phone.

· The driver must not be using headphones or earphones.

· All occupants must be wearing seat belts

· Children, up to 12 years must be in the rear of the vehicle

· Babies up to 9 months old (weighing up to 10 kilos) must be in a carrycot across the back seat, secured
with car safety belts or other approved safety attachments

· The driver must be a minimum of 18 years of age

· The driver’s footwear must be substantial – barefeet, flip flops, and sandals are not acceptable

· As elsewhere, drinking while under the influence of alcohol is taboo, and government statistics tell
us that between 30% and 50% of all Spanish deaths in road traffic accidents are
caused by alcohol excesses. In Spain the legal limit is 0.5g/l blood or
0.25mg/l breath.

In Spain, traffic lights (semaforas) are more often than not situated at your stop line for the junction. So you can see them changing when you are first in the queue, there are smaller lights on the support post. An amber flashing light means you are approaching a hazard, such as a crossing. You can pass through this light with caution, if it seems to be clear to do so.

Laws for pedestrian crossings were not, until recently, as strict as those in the UK, where a driver is always at
fault, if a person is hit on the crossing. Now in Spain, you must step onto the crossing, and show the palm of your hand to any approaching vehicles. Unlike previously, drivers have to stop or run the risk of earning unwelcome penalty points on their licence. Drivers should be wary of British tourists who step out into the road having looked Right and not Left.

The final piece of advice is try not be smart. A Guardia Officer stopped me and said "Papers”. I replied "Scissors,
and that beats papers”.  I should be home by Christmas.
 

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Posted by on 09/05/2013 10:16:00