Healthplan Spain


Woman using radio while driving car Driving In Spain: You Could Be Fined 3,000 Euros For Doing This Expat Tips

Spain’s traffic authorities, the DGT (Dirección General de Tráfico), are always bringing in new policies to make the country’s roads safer.

Each year thousands of people are killed or seriously injured on Spanish roads and these are figures the traffic authorities are keen to reduce.

On March 21, 2020, the DGT updated its traffic laws with more stringent rules which aim to address the issue of driver distraction, a major cause of motoring incidents in Spain.

The new policies aim to punish drivers who put themselves and other road users at risk with many of the offences now carrying much harsher penalties including larger fines and penalty point deductions.

Just a few of the biggest changes include:-

  • Mobile phone usage - This is rightfully one of the most important changes with mobile devices a huge distraction for drivers. Under the new policies, anyone found to be found using or even holding a phone will be hit with a six-point deduction from their licence and a €200 fine.
  • Seat belts, child safety seats and helmets - If you are not using a seat belt, have not installed a child seat correctly or are not wearing a helmet, you could lose four points and be hit with a €200 penalty fine.
  • Change lanes for cyclists - Under the new rules, drivers must change lanes (if more than one) when approaching a cyclist. When this is not possible, they must leave at least 1.5 metres between themselves and the cyclist. Failure to do so can result in a six-point reduction and a €200 financial penalty.

There are more. Make sure you read our other post here which details all the latest changes and possible sanctions you could be hit with.

Do this and you could be fined between €100 and €3,000

What may come as a surprise is that many of us are breaking the traffic laws on an almost daily basis without even knowing it.

But what could it be?

Having your music turned up too loud when driving is an offence and can result in a huge fine of up to €3,000.

That’s right, up to €3,000 for bopping to your favourite tunes!

Whether you’re singing along to the Spice Girls, Led Zeppelin or Adele, if it is too loud, it could be causing a distraction and place yourself and other road users at risk.

This is especially the case when the music is at an excessive volume as according to the DGT, this can cause auditory distraction and may prevent you from driving with due care attention.

Not only that, having music on very loud can also prevent you from hearing noises that are designed to warn you of impending danger. This could include an emergency vehicle’s siren to get you to move over or another driver’s horn to warn you of a possible collision.

How loud is too loud?

So it begs the question, “How loud is too loud?

Well, the louder it is, the more the potential fine could be.

Furthermore, the levels are set by different councils, so these may also vary depending on where you are in the country.

However, the reference level is 87 decibels (dB).

How loud is 87 dB?

The decibel scale runs from 0 dB (sounds that are barely audible to humans) all the way up to 130 dB which is the threshold of pain.

85 decibels is the maximum recommended level for human exposure over an 8 hour period according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Consistently listening to music at this level can cause serious damage to your hearing over time.

According to the website HearingAidKnow and their Decibel Levels Of Common Sounds, 87 dB is the equivalent of city traffic noise inside of your car or a bulldozer. 

How much could I be fined?

As an example, in Madrid, if you exceed the reference level by more than 4 dB, you could be fined around €90. For more than 7 dB, you could receive a fine of €300.

The amounts will then increase significantly depending on how loud it is all the way up to an eye-watering €3,000. Ouch!

We are not sure how the police could know exactly how loud your music was, but it’s fair to say like a lot of things, it will be down to the officer's own discretion.

So, if you don’t want to be hit with a huge fine, you may want to consider just how loud you have your music playing when you hit the road.