With the summer holidays just around the corner, many of us will be making plans for driving here in Spain.
If you are travelling around the country by car this summer, it’s worth remembering a number of new traffic regulations that came into force back in March.
Failing to adhere to any of those below will now mean a hefty fine, points taken from your licence and getting your much-anticipated summer break off to the worst possible start.
To make sure you don’t fall foul of the new regulations, we cover the most important ones to take into account whilst on your journey.
With two in every three fatal collisions on Spanish roads due to frontal collisions and 239 deaths registered as a result last year, the Spanish authorities have been keen to address some of the dangers related to overtaking.
Previously, vehicles on conventional roads were permitted to exceed the speed limit by up to 20 km/h. However, under the new regulations, this is no longer the case, vehicles must not exceed the maximum speed which is set at 90 km/h, regardless of whether they are overtaking or not.
Something else Spain’s traffic authority, the DGT, has been working on is to provide more protection to cyclists.
Under the new rules, when overtaking cyclists, drivers must keep a safe distance of at least 1.5 metres.
If it is a single lane in one direction, drivers may cross the continuous line separating the lanes as long as they do not endanger other drivers travelling in the opposite direction.
If the road has more than one lane travelling in the same direction, drivers must change lanes to overtake.
Not adhering to the regulations can result in a fine of 200 Euros and four to six points deducted from your licence.
????????En la nueva #LeySeguridadVial (21/03/2022)— Dir. Gral. Tráfico (@DGTes) January 16, 2022
➡️Adelantar poniendo en peligro o entorpeciendo a ciclistas o sin dejar 1,5 m sube de 4 a 6⃣ puntos.
➡️En vías con 2 carriles x sentido, obligatorio cambiar de carril para adelantarles.
➡️Parar o estacionar en carril bici 200€. pic.twitter.com/hF5z7Mk4Ku
Mobile phones and other devices
Distractions are one of the main causes of traffic accidents on Spanish roads.
Under the new regulations, sanctions have now been increased for those found to be manipulating their GPS, Sat Nav and other electronic devices while driving.
Furthermore, although you may not intend to send a message or engage with a device, any drivers found to be even holding their phone or other gadgets will also be hit with a penalty fine and have points removed from their licence.
This is because the traffic authorities believe that if you are holding your phone, your hand is off the steering wheel meaning that you are not fully in control of the vehicle.
Fines of 200 Euros will be handed out for flouting either of these regulations. Drivers will also have up to six points deducted from their licence.
Seat belts and helmets
Not wearing a seat belt, not wearing a helmet on a motorcycle and not sitting children in an appropriate child seat will also result in a fine of 200 Euros and a potential four-point deduction from the licence.
The points sanction which was previously three has now been increased under the new regulations.
Learn more about current seat belt regulations in Spain.
Put it in the bin
The violation that carries some of the biggest sanctions is throwing objects out of the car window.
The new regulations dictate that drivers found to be throwing cigarette butts, bottles and other rubbish out of the vehicle will be punished with a fine of up to 500 Euros along with a loss of up to six points from their licence.
Alcohol limits for young drivers
Drink driving remains a major issue in Spain with government figures showing that four in every ten deaths on Spanish roads are due to drivers being under the influence.
The new rules will look to halt this serious trend. Any drivers under the age of 18, including those riding e-scooters, will now have an alcohol limit of zero.
Young drivers found to be over the zero limit will receive a fine of up to 500 Euros.
Furthermore, those who purchase a new vehicle from July 2022 will also find that under new regulations, all new vehicles will have to have an ‘alcolock’ device installed.
The system which is already proving to be effective in other EU countries will mean that drivers will have to blow into the device before setting off.
If there is no trace of alcohol, then the driver will be able to start the engine.
However, if there is a slight trace of alcohol, the driver will have to wait for one minute before trying again.
For larger traces of alcohol, the driver may have to wait for half an hour or more before making any further attempts.
¿Un bloqueo del vehículo con alcoholímetro? Ya le estás enviando esto a todos tus amigos. ????— Dir. Gral. Tráfico (@DGTes) June 3, 2022
Que no se te olvide: a partir de julio de 2022, estos sistemas de ayuda a la conducción serán obligatorios en todos los vehículos de nueva fabricación.#VisiónCero #ADAS
Learn more about acolocks in Spain.
Recovering your points
Although nobody wants to be penalised and lose points from the licence, the good news is that if you do lose points you can get them back.
Under the new regulations, any driver that drives for two years without committing any further offences will recover the total balance of points.
The amount of time was previously dependent on the seriousness of the offence.
In addition, two points may also be recovered if a driver chooses to take an approved driving safety course.