With superb year-round weather, Spain is the ideal country in which to hop on your bike and explore everything it has to offer.
Unfortunately, many of us are unfamiliar with the rules and laws that apply to cyclists here and the kind of fines that can be issued when such laws are not adhered to.
In Spain, bicycles are classified as vehicles and hence have to abide by similar rules and regulations that other vehicles on the road have to.
Although many of the cycling rules are self-explanatory, a number of them are a little ambiguous and most definitely open to interpretation.
Bicycle Helmet Laws In Spain
Proposals were made in 2013 that had the intention of making it obligatory for everyone to wear a helmet at all times. However, this was met with strong opposition from town halls and several cycle hire companies in large cities and the proposals were subsequently dropped.
The current law which was updated in May 2014, states that cyclists under the age of 16 are obliged to wear a helmet at all times, whether cycling in urban or non-urban areas.
Adults over the age of 16 must wear a helmet outside of urban areas but are exempt when riding up steep hills, riding during excessive heat or if they are professional cyclists. So does that mean that if you are hot, riding up a hill, or are a professional cyclist, you are less likely to have an accident?
Cycling Rules In Spain
Below you will find the main rules in Spain when riding a bicycle.
Riding a bicycle on pavements, sidewalks, public parks, and other similar pedestrian areas is also not permitted, except at a speed of less than 10 km/h and when the following conditions apply:-
When pushing a bicycle, you are classed as a pedestrian and can therefore push your bike on the pavement.
Needless to say, any of the above infractions can potentially result in a hefty fine.
Below are just a few of the current fines that can be issued. However, it's hard to say how much of a fine you will incur for some of the other infringements listed above.
Although it can appear that many of the cycling laws are not enforced here, there are exceptions to this and with the fines being quite severe, it's probably best to err on the side of caution.
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Updated: December 20, 2022 CET
February 03, 2023