Ideally, every driver should have to have an induction into the main rules operating in their new terrain. In practice this doesn’t happen and foreign drivers find themselves dropped in at the deep end in a system that can be quite different from the one they’re used to.
Compound this with the speed and complacency of locals and there is no wonder that accidents happen. In an attempt to make Spanish roads safer, the Spanish Home Secretary has announced a number of new measures.
There will be a new driving test for those learning to drive on Spanish roads. The practical test will now last for 25 minutes and will include a random test such as switching on the windscreen wipers or locating the oil tank. The learner will be given a destination to drive to and will need to navigate the way without instructions. The changes are designed to provide a clearer idea of the skills of the would-be driver.
The theory test is due to get tougher too. Instead of the 30 random questions selected from a bank of 800, there will be 15,000 questions to choose from. There will be a touch-screen panel to make the test easier to administer and deliberately misleading questions will be removed. Both changes seem to be a welcome development in a procedure that appeared to value a grasp of the theory above practical ability.
Other intended changes include:
- A reduction in the speed limit on single carriageway roads
- Tighter regulations for cyclists
- Clamp down on driving under the influence of drugs
- Increased emphasis on the correct use of safety equipment for child passengers
If they save lives these changes must be welcomed. It’s up to foreign drivers to make sure that they familiarise themselves with the new laws too.