PLANS to introduce five new traffic lines over the next few weeks have been given the green light.
The Congress of Deputies gave their seal of approval to rules proposed by the DGT, Spain’s traffic authority, on Thursday (September 30) and the planned reform of the traffic law will now be sent to the Senate.
This means the stricter driving rules that have been on the cards for a while now should soon be announced as part of the renamed Traffic, Circulation and Road Safety Law.
The new laws will see the DGT crackdown on numerous offenses, doubling, for example, the penalties for driving with a mobile phone in hand or for not wearing a seat belt.
In addition, the use of a helmet on personal mobility vehicles, such as electric scooters, will now be mandatory.
And while currently drivers are still allowed to surpass the speed limit by up to 20km/h when safe to do when overtaking on secondary roads, vehicles in Spain soon won’t be able to surpass the speed limit at all.
Here is a breakdown of the five new rules you need to know about.
Mandatory helmet for electric scooters
Since January 2021, e-scooter users have been banned from riding on the pavement, have a maximum speed limit of 25km/h and require a driving certificate. Now the DGT has added that users of these vehicles must also wear a helmet or face a penalty of €200.
Six points for driving while holding the phone
The penalty will rise from the loss of three to six points off drivers’ licences, as well as a likely €200 fine. Drivers do not necessarily need to be talking on the phone to get caught out – holding it in their hands while driving is enough to land them a hefty fine and be stripped of their points. Drivers are already fined €200 if they are caught using GPSs or headphones while driving.
Four points for not fastening your seatbelt
Failure to use a seat belt, child restraint systems, a helmet and other protective elements will result in a penalty of four points, instead of the current three and likely to come with a fine of €200.
Having a speed camera or radar detector device in the vehicle
Under the present law, it is illegal to use a speed camera or radar detector in your car. The new DGT law rules mean that officers will be able to punish the driver for having said device in the car, regardless of whether it is in use or not. Fines can be as high as €500 and penalties include loss of three driving licence points for those caught by police using these devices.
Surpassing speed limit when overtaking on secondary roads
One of the most controversial changes, the new rule will mean that cars and bikers are no longer able to exceed the speed limit on conventional roads in order to overtake. Currently it is still allowed by up to 20km/h when safe to do so.