Riding a bicycle in Spain is a joy. With fantastic year-round weather, it’s the perfect location to saddle up and enjoy everything this beautiful country has to offer.
However, riding a bicycle is not without its pitfalls. There’s the safety aspect which is something the DGT traffic authorities have been attempting to drive home in recent years to minimise accidents and traffic related deaths involving cyclists.
For one, cyclists circulate Spanish roads with very little protection as opposed to other forms of transportation such as cars and buses. On a bike, you are exposed to the risks of the road more than most.
So what better way to protect yourself both physically and financially than to understand the possible implications of not adhering to Spanish law on riding a bike?
It’s so important that when you go out and about on your bicycle here that you are fully equipped. It is not only important to make sure you are aware of your surroundings but also that you highlight your presence on the road to other road users.
There are a number of accessories every bicycle in Spain must have. Failure to demonstrate their use can result in a hefty fine. Many of these items are not optional. They are mandatory and if not present can result in a penalty.
The Guardia Civil highlighted this via their Twitter account in attempt to make cyclists aware of what is a strict requirement in Spain when cycling.
There is one item that many will not consider necessary, however, according to the law, it is a requirement that must be adhered to. However, many cyclists will not be aware that they are flouting the law every time they take to the road.
The accessory in question is a bell (Timbre). And not having one can result in a fine of 80 euros.
¿Sabrías decir qué accesorio, entre otros, es obligatorio llevar en la bicicleta, aunque muchas no lo traigan de fábrica? Vamos, seguro que te suena ????????. pic.twitter.com/NL71wHFGB4— Guardia Civil ???????? (@guardiacivil) March 23, 2018
Having a bell fitted to your handlebars is mandatory and is there to notify other vehicles and pedestrians who circulate as to your presence. It’s not just cyclists either. Those who use personal mobility vehicles such as e-scooters should also have one.
Along with a bell, all bicycles must have a front white light, rear red light and red reflector.
Wearing reflective clothing such as anklets and wristbands to make yourself more visible at night is also a requirement as not being seen can put yourself and other road users at risk.
What other things can you be fined for?
Although cyclists are not under as much scrutiny as other road users, they can still be hit by a number of penalty fines when circulating Spain’s network of roads incorrectly.
Learn more about cycling laws in Spain.
Traffic related deaths involving cyclists still too high
The importance of making sure you are not only visible to other road users but also fully protected cannot be overstated.
Spain’s traffic authority, the DGT, recently published their latest statistics for the number of fatalities on Spanish roads.
Despite the number of deaths having fallen considerably in recent years, the number of cyclists killed is still far too high. In 2020 alone, 36 cyclists were killed, four less than in 2019.
According to the DGT, of the 36 cyclists that were killed, 13 were not wearing a safety helmet which is a legal requirement for those over the age of 16 when cycling outside of urban areas. Children under sixteen must wear a helmet at all times under the current law.
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Updated: March 21, 2023 CET