It can be difficult to know what you should and shouldn’t be doing when it comes to driving in Spain. New laws are adding further to the confusion. Ley 6/2014 modificando la Ley sobre Tráfico, Circulación de Vehículos a Motor y Seguridad Vial 339/ 1990 came into effect on 9th May. It introduces some important changes to Spanish motoring law that you should be aware of. Some aspects will not fully come into force until the current Spanish highway code has been revised in June 2014.
Faster or slower? There’s a mixed bunch of changes when it comes to speed limits.They include:
- An increase in the speed limit from 120 kph to 130 kph on some parts of the motorway
- A maximum speed limit on regular roads of 90 kph
- A reduction of the speed limit in many towns on some stretches of road from 30 kph to 20 kph
- A prohibition on radar detectors in cars but not on warning devices
Driving or walking under the influence
You should remember that the legal limit for alcohol is lower than in some other European countries. It is 0.5mg per litre of exhaled air or 0.3mg for professional drivers and those who have only recently passed their test.
- A minimum fine of 1,000€ if:
- You are more than double the drink drive limit
- You are a reoffending drink driver
- You refuse to take a breathalyser test
- You are driving whilst under the influence of drugs
- Pedestrians can be obliged to take a drug and alcohol test if they break a traffic regulation such as crossing the road in the wrong place
The rules around drugs do not apply to those prescribed for therapeutic purposes.
Increased powers of the Guardia Civil
The Guardia Civil will not have to hand over your fine personally. If they are not in a position to pursue you, they need only observe a motoring offence and note your registration number to impose a fine.
Children in cars
The restrictions around seating children in cars have increased. Children are not allowed to travel in the front if they are less than 1.35m, unless the seats in the back of the car are occupied by other children. This will apply to taxis too, when the fine will be payable by the child’s parents. The police can also seize any vehicle where children are not seated with the legally compliant child seat and heavier fines can be applied where the incorrect safety seats are in use.
- There are to be stricter rules for cars which are foreign registered and driven by residents
- You can be fined for dropping items onto the road
- There will be fewer restrictions for those with cancer who still wish to drive
- Cyclists under the age of 16 must wear helmets in urban areas. There can be a fine of up to 200€ for breaking this law.
- To receive a 50% discount on your motoring fine you have to pay within 20 days instead of the previous 15
As you can see from the wording we have used, some of these rules are yet unclear in their scope and breadth of implementation. We will try to keep you updated as more details emerge.
‘20 new rules to remember for Spanish road users‘ – article in English version of El País