9 May, 2014 @ 11:35
1 min read

New laws for Spain’s roads in force from today

ROAD-USERS are being encouraged to familiarise themselves with Spain’s new traffic laws, in force from today.

There are many changes to the laws, some directly affecting expats. Here the Olive Press lists the most important changes:

  • Foreign residents must now register vehicles in Spain.
  • ‘Very serious’ speeding offences are punished by a fine of €600 and a loss of six points.
  • Lesser speeding offences are punished by a fine of €500 and a loss of six points.
  • Speeding fines can apply for exceeding the limit by just 1kph.
  • Cyclists under 16 must wear helmets.
  • Children less than 1.35 metres tall cannot sit in the front seat, except in certain cases, such as cars without back seats.
  • Traffic police no longer have to stop a vehicle caught breaking the law; they can simply issue a penalty afterwards.
  • In some towns the speed limit is being reduced from 30kph to 20kph.
  • If the driver is double the legal alcohol limit, is a frequent offender or refuses to take a breath test then there is a loss of six points and a fine of €1,000.
  • There is also a loss of four points for a driver who is over the alcohol limit but without doubling it, or a driver under the influence of drugs.
  • If the driver is not correctly licensed for the vehicle then a loss of four points is applied.

Tom Powell

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  1. Totally agree with Fred, Spain is turning into a tedious nanny state and people find it a turn off just like they do in the UK. I think they are also very desperate for money i.e. fining people for going only 1kph over the speed limit.

    Why not find more positive and entrepreneurial way of generating revenue like having a functioning economy for example.

  2. Mostly common sense I suppose….BUT, issuing a penalty without stopping the alleged offender is tantamount to giving traffic police free licence to do whatever they want…And trying to prove innocence in the face of an overwhelming obstacle course would make the most ardent of defendants crumble up and pay up….And that is precisely what they count on.

    And as for a 1kph criteria this is utter lunacy.

    Going for zero deaths is fine, but this garbage will achieve nothing but corrode the rather tenuous bonhomie (the salute and ‘buenos días’) that currently exists between the motorist and the Guardia Civil.

  3. Bit of a curates egg really. No automatic ban for drink-driving and only four points for being “over the limit” ?
    But the 1 kph. rule is absurd. Will the “influence of drugs”, tranquillisers, opiate based drugs etc. prescribed by doctors, be included ? The proposals appear to be more about money than safety. So, what else is new ?

  4. Observations today. All of the five (easily under 16) youths that I saw today had no helmets. Cars driving at 60 kph through the village, two very young children in the front seat, one was the local police car with his daugther up-front. Spain eh? lol.

  5. Do You know the drama involving car accidents?. These are almost always due to breach of traffic rules.
      Precisely two of today’s news are about traffic accidents.

  6. I have fitted a video camera which loop records HD quality video so if there is an arguement with the poice then the video evidence can be used to prove innocence. Also useful in the UK to stop the police from fleecing innocent motorists. Is is also useful if you are involved in a accident. A cheap device but will deter police from overstepping the mark as thye will see the camera.

  7. But no measures against 3-up on a moto wearing no helmets. This was a common occurrence in Guadix.

    The best though was a youth on an off-road motorbike, without helmet naturally, overtaking a marked police car – on the wrong side of the road and the police re-action was – nothing, naturally.

    Spanish doctors refer to moto riders as – organ donors.

    In defence of Spanish drivers, they are far more considerate of walkers/cyclists and m/cyclists than the Brits by a country mile – I gave up training on my bike on the Sussex country roads in 1985, far too dangerous. The country people were fine it was the city scum that moved out of London that were the problem.

  8. at one time the Guardia Civil used to make it up as they went along if they decided to stop your car they would fine you for something if you disagreed you found youd done something else wrong as well /and so on

    in different areas of Spain laws are applied with different force /like Drink driving /speeding/UK cars being registered in Spain

    lets hope the GC do not go back to the bad old days

  9. Is anyone really surprised to see these new laws that are clearly designed to generate money. Spain has been a finacial drain on us all (including whole eu countries) for some time . The sooner spain is broken up the better…. then spain can just manage its own affairs on a smaller scale..probably imploding in the process….. catalunya will soar and spain will be seen for the waste of land it struggles to convince us all its not

  10. fabregas (any relation to Cesc?), I could not have put that better myself. Everything suggests that your predictions are right in which case, god knows what ‘basket case Andalucia’ will end up like, could it be any more third world than it is now? Perhaps they will demolish the whole place.

  11. Traffic rules are not intended to raise fines, its purpose is to reduce the number of accidents.

    Every year too many people die on the roads, and we must all work together to reduce this misfortune.

    In the last ten years the numbers of road deaths have fallen from 6000 to 1300 deaths per year. And this have largely been thanks to tougher sanctions.

    For me would be great new that thanks the new Highway Code, the number of casualties can can be reduce further.

    This would mean that the probability that, in the coming years. All we would have less chance of dying in a stupid way and tragic. We, our familiars and our friends.

  12. @Fred,

    The law states if it’s over 1klp you have broken the law, so drive a couple of klp under the stated allowance, simple really.

    I remember a time when a person (in the UK) that was a learner could drive without a qualified driver with him. Laws change to suit the times.

  13. Strange how certain people have such a strong feeling towards the Junta D Andalusia. As far as I can see they are trying to uphold the law regardless of what various wrong doing’s councils have done. If they do have a change of heart and the law changes to allow illegal properties to become legal, all well and good, but basically it’s not their fault.

    I am not sticking up for the J.D Andalusia and what is or happening regarding the illegal buildings is basically not their fault. The acting lawyers for these people were perhaps not doing their job correctly by not getting the correct information from the Junta. It’s the agents, councils and lawyers that are at fault not the Junta.

    I could be wrong but that’s how I see it. Never-the-less there are hundreds of thousands of legal properties, how come.

  14. @Fred.

    I immediately did post that this comment should have been posted to another site but it had been deleted by PO.

    Guilty until proven I would say, thought the law said innocent until proven guilty. Terrible if you were a Judge, worse still if you were a Franco.

  15. I doubt very much that even the GC have speedometers that are accurate to 1 kph. An under/over inflated tyre would add to the errors inherent in automotive road speed measurement.

    To be safe I’d aim for 5% under the posted limit to avoid prosecution.

    Any measure that improves road safety is fine by me. It’s a pity stricter parking rules aren’t enforced. That’s the way to make real money boys!

  16. @Fred,

    Perhaps that was one of the reasons the new laws were passed as from today?.

    Did you also know that they had introduced another road line besides the yellows in the U.K and why?.

  17. Caccia, the law will change countless times in the future and road accidents will still happen. Speed cameras just make people slow down for a few moments, and they speed up again. See it all the time. The UK isue is off-topic btw, you just can’t stop it can you? lol

  18. 1 kph does sound like a money making scheme. I am all for Road safety and I do not think that any of us want to see our kids etc run over. We will one day all go down the route of being monitored by telematics. It is happening now, if you are a young driver in the UK you save hundreds of pounds a year with a black box and no doubt insurance Companies may start to hike premiums for people who do not have one fitted at some stage. Read below, 129 dead in 2003 and I think Spain has a long way to go but the deaths are reducing I believe. As you will see from the below it is on the smaller roads where most of the deaths happen. You see Spanish drivers overtaking slower drivers in some pretty dangerous areas, they do not have a lot of patience but after driving around Paris last month I think the French are even worse. I had to take evasive action twice and I was not there for that long.

    In total, the 35 people died and another 149 were injured in the 28 fatal accidents during the Easter period, 86% of which occurred on traditional, secondary roads. Four of those killed were not wearing a seatbelt.

    Although the data is a tragic realization of the dangers on the roads, with an increase in the number of deaths last year, the data is below average on a five year comparison, the average being 48 deaths, and continues a 15 year downward trend. In 2003, a year where Easter was celebrated at the same time of year as 2014, the death toll was an incredible 129 people.

    Amongst the 35 people who lost their lives, were a child of 5 years of age, 6 motorcyclists, 2 cyclists, 2 pedestrians 5 truck or van drivers and 18 car passengers.

    The majority of accidents occurred during the day, between 2 in the afternoon and 8 in the evening. Saturday the 12th and Sundays the 13th and 20th were the days with the most fatalities recorded in a single day.

  19. @Reap,

    Death rate this Easter is up from last year so do you you think these new laws are a good or a bad thing.

    @Fred. There is so much Spain bashing that I was giving and example of how laws change elsewhere to save lives, not just in Spain. If one is discussing law changes then lets have a comparison of laws to other EU countries. Can’t understand your logic.

    Forget the 1kph, they have to put a limit on most things. I suppose you will be saying next that there should not be any limits on anything. Grow up for a change.

  20. Caccy, limits only mean something when they are enforced, and it’s impossible to enforce speed limits everywhere. Lots of studies show that lowering speed limits did not reduce vehicle speeds or accidents.

    I drive every day and I would say the majority of drivers are not adhering to the speed limit, unless of course they slow down for a speed camera, after which they speed up again. Speed signs (and road signs in general) are notoriously confusing in Spain too.

  21. “Think he mentions U.K, France and Paris. Tut, Tut.”

    Yes, because he was there, in person, driving in Paris. You started some random rhetorical discussion about “road lines” which was totally irrelevant. Do keep up.

  22. ‘Are the laws good or bad’, time will tell. I was driving around London last Friday, buss lane cameras, bus lanes with allowable times of usage for cars, yellow box lane cameras, central London toll cameras, cameras all over the A2 on the way to London, police stop and search cars for tax, MOT, Road worthiness etc (mainly white van man) at Blackheath, stopping cars out in New Cross which completely xxxxxx the Road network up and delayed me by 30 minutes coming back, phew, I have not had a ticket yet but so many things to catch you out. I think Road safety is a good thing and if it reduces reckless driving then we have to take the pain for the few but it is not speed that causes a lot of problems it is the idiots trying to overtake on a corner and their car cannot get by in time for the oncoming traffic . My view is that if it is sensible it is Ok but if they put cameras up like they do in the UK to make money where they do not have any accidents then it is not OK. In Spain the locals tell me it is very complicated and expensive to pass your driving test, and there are people who drive around via the back roads and river beds having never taken a driving test. Not having lived there for a long time now but in years gone the inland Spanish did seem to have the attitude that using back roads to drink and drive was OK as you would not get caught, or the local police who they knew would let them off. I knew a couple of Spanish people who would do this, one rolled his car into a dry ravine and survived, he is an alcoholic, and the other died of old age or a pickled liver. It has to be said that there is no taxi service in small villages so unless you live within walking distance they take the risk for themselves and people like us driving around. Never seen anyone stopped on the back Roads in the small villages late of a night for drink driving tests. That is where they should start, the police would have plenty of customers in the bars Friday and Saturday.

  23. caccia, I think my post was not off topic as it shows how in Spain they can start with a few cameras and all of a sudden you have 10’s if not 100’s of thousands of them and end up like the UK, but when you have vast amounts of them you just do not bother to speed any more because it is easier than trying to remember them all,sat navs out of date, mobile vans on bridges… Nice to see they are cutting out on certain drivel on this website, that is why I have stayed away a bit as it became a bit of a child’s playground.

  24. Reap: There you go. Speed cameras WORK. As you said, when the roads are saturated with them, it’s too dodgy to speed.
    Seems the only place some motorists feel pain is in their wallets and purses.
    Absolutely correct though, speed alone doesn’t cause accidents. It just makes a greater mess when a mistake occurs.
    Booze and macho behaviour, that’s the lethal cocktail.
    The “black boxes” you mentioned should be compulsory and act as a sort of tachograph, available at any time to the police as evidence, (along with breath test immobilisers).
    Until we have driver-less cars, Big Brother requires a bigger stick.

  25. @Reap,

    Unfortunately there is a lot of “drivel” on this site, people can’t accept things as they are. I also have driven in London many time due to my work, (coming from that area) driven through south of England, Cornwall, France, Italy, Spain and the U.S.A and each country have their rules.

    Problem is Spain has theirs which people find hard to follow or accept. I have driven in Spain ever since arriving 20 years ago and have never had any problems because I follow the rules. Never drink and drive, have never been stopped by the police for speeding and changed vehicle plates as required. Simple really.

  26. @Fred,

    Your implications suggest no rules only what you think. If they said 1 kph over 30 you would still come up with the same suggestion as over 20. What do you suggest, stretch the kph to what. The law gives an indication of what they expect people to follow. If you break it, tough luck.

  27. @Caccia, I think Spain previously allowed a +10% Kph difference, and that is a common sense figure. 1 Kph over the limit is not common sense. Simple really. Btw, did you get any sleep?

  28. Stefano, I think they work but of course they will not stop accidents but reduce them and change driving behaviour. The black boxes send information from your vehicle and you can receive this via your mobile, they can also give you an app for your phone now rather than a black box and all data is available immediately. It has also been used to prove a fraudulent accident claim recently because of the data they had at the time of the accident, saved the insurance Company £50k in false claims. That technology could one day make cameras obsolete, but yes it is big brother. With the black boxes you get sent warning letters if you drive too fast and eventually your premium will go up or they will terminate your contract / insurance. My sons will be getting one of these when they are old enough, better for my peace of mind and other drivers safety.

  29. @Reap,

    There will always be accidents etc regardless of what law or objects are introduced to avoid these incidents. It’s the nature of mankind to break these rules that’s why there are so many accidents and deaths.

  30. Yeah. Seatbelts, crumple zones, air-bags, abs braking,T.V. awareness ads. all a complete waste of time and effort, best to just accept the mayhem and deaths. Nowt to be done.

  31. @Fred

    Did you read an article about speeding. Quote:-

    With reference to the article on speeding, in the UK it has always been the case that anyone exceeding the speed limit even by 1mph was liable to be prosecuted.
    I believe it has always been the same in Spain too. I suspect that the practice of not reporting drivers for small infringements will probably continue as before. But note: breaking the law even by a little is still breaking the law.

    However, as speedometers – which are not accurate – will in almost all cases read higher than the actual speed you are doing, responsible drivers have nothing to fear.

    Julian Ward UK police officer.

    Fred, hope you take note regarding your liberal views on speeding.

  32. Caccia, no one knows the exact limit that DGT sets the cameras to activate at, but if Spain is now saying that 1 Kph is the limit and that the law has changed, then that implies it was different previously, otherwise why announce it?

    Nothing to take note about, I have no liberal views on speeding and a perfectly clean license thank you. Btw, how many Kph do you get out of your mobility scooter?

  33. @Fred,
    In answer to the comment you made, quote:-
    “Btw, how many Kph do you get out of your mobility scooter?”
    I don’t know, don’t use one, but I suppose it depends on how often it’s used for a start, the weight of the person it is carrying, does it travel up and down hills consistently, the length of the inclinations and the distance one would be travelling, which I should imagine any bright eleven year old would throw back those questions to a OU Ph.d before giving an answer as to the mileage and size of battery required. lol.

  34. @Fred,
    Can’t see where you are coming from. They haven’t changed the laws on speed limits but merely pointing out that prosecutions will be made if one is caught doing over 1Kmp of the stated Kmp sign, it’s a warning. Whereas prior to this 1Kmp information the law had been tolerant but due to the amount of accidents they are now informing of the consequences.
    Fred, the law has not been changed, it’s just that people had become accustomed of not being prosecuted. Simple really.

  35. Caccia, you need to get new glasses. Re-read the article – point 4 of “the most important changes”. Those “changes” are changes to the law. No one said the speed limit has been changed, just the measurement at which a car was deemed to be speeding (however speed limits have been changed yet again recently, coincidentally).

  36. Ah, I see you have seen the light. A friend was caught last year on a drink and drive, lost licence for one year, law had not changed, penalty just being applied.

    Heading can be deceiving and headlines are to attract.

    Perhaps the write-up should have read:-
    “ROAD-USERS are being encouraged to familiarise themselves with Spain’s code of practice regarding the traffic laws”.

    Words can be twisted to suit headings, even the spelling is in-correct, should have been “familiarize”. See what I mean Fred.

  37. Fred,

    I will state once more. There is no change in the speeding law.
    If one is caught speeding even the 1Kph then you have broken the law. The law of speeding zones are clearly marked on signs. Simple really.

  38. Caccia, you said it yourself: “prior to this 1Kmp information the law had been tolerant”. Indeed, it was more tolerant before the law was recently changed, and now it is less tolerant. It’s just my opinion that the older (more tolerant) interpretation was more common sense, and particulary so in the case of speed cameras.

    Btw your hyphenation of many words is dubious.

  39. Well Fred,

    Lets leave it at that, no point in continuing with such a trivial matter. My saying “prior to this 1Kmp information the law had been tolerant” was in-fact precisely what the copper had also indicated.

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