In Spain, traffic signs on conventional roads are generally red and white or blue and white and indicate the maximum or recommended speed limit for the road.
Since March of this year, you may have noticed a new orange-coloured sign while driving here, with around 300 of the new signs (pictured above) now appearing up and down the country.
The signs in question have an orange background with black radar waves being emitted toward a car, motorcycle, and lorry. There are then two forward-facing arrows and the numbers 5,7 km. (The distance indicated can differ depending on the road you are on).
However, the new traffic signs have caused confusion among the nation's drivers with many motorists unsure of their exact meaning.
Many believe the sign is warning them that a fixed-speed radar device has been installed at the distance highlighted in the sign, however, this is not the case.
The real meaning of the sign is to warn motorists that the approaching 5.7 km segment of road is a hotspot for traffic accidents and to warn them of the possible presence of mobile speed cameras.
It is the DGT’s (Dirección General de Tráfico) intention to encourage drivers to slow down since these are the most dangerous roads where speeding is most likely to increase the possibility of a traffic accident.
In a recent tweet, Spain’s road traffic authority the DGT said: “If you see this sign on a #conventional highway, it is warning you that it is one of the most dangerous sections and that excess #speed along the length of the section indicated is especially monitored. Drive at #proper speed. #BetterMoreSlowly”
Si ves esta señal en una #carreteraconvencional, te está advirtiendo de que se trata de uno de los tramos más peligrosos y de que está especialmente vigilado el exceso de #velocidad en la longitud del tramo que se indica.— Dir. Gral. Tráfico (@DGTes) June 5, 2021
Circula a #velocidad adecuada.#MejorMásDespacio???? pic.twitter.com/IHkxGcI7Wy
Given that the summer period generally attracts a greater number of road trips, the DGT felt it prudent to take the opportunity to remind drivers of the importance of adapting their speed to the specific section of road they are travelling on and to respect traffic signs.
The DGT also took the opportunity to warn drivers that it is illegal to warn other road users of the presence of speed cameras including via mobile phone apps.
Sadly, since June last year, a total of 373 people have been killed on Spanish roads.
The DGT hopes that these and other measures can help to reduce the number of fatalities allowing them to reach their objective of zero deaths.
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Updated: March 06, 2023 CET