Spain's traffic authority, the DGT are looking to push through new legislation to punish drivers who use apps and social media to notify other drivers of the location of police vehicles and random checkpoints.
The presence of such checkpoints are an important weapon for Spain's traffic authorities and are commonly used to catch those under the influence of alcohol and drugs and others who drive illegally.
At present, those who irresponsibly warn others by flashing their headlights can be sanctioned for using them inappropriately. However, those who use internet apps such as Waze and Social Drive to notify other drivers are unable to be prosecuted.
Although such apps are designed to allow drivers to share important traffic information, get real time help, avoid traffic jams and to plan a journey, many drivers are using them incorrectly and inadvertently endangering other road users in the process.
Under the new proposals, those who notify other drivers who in some cases may be under the influence to avoid checkpoints and speeders to slow down, will be prosecuted . Ultimately, helping others to avoid the police, only leads to the risk of further accidents as those who consistently flout the law will continue to take to the roads, putting others at risk.
Furthermore, warning other road users to the presence of traffic police can also mean more uninsured vehicles on the road and the likelihood that other serious criminals are able to avoid being apprehended.
Despite a fall of 7.6% in the number of people killed on Spanish roads in 2019, there were still over 1,007 deaths, many of which would have been due to intoxicated drivers.
One of the biggest hurdles for the DGT has been the lack of political stability over the last couple of years, which has prevented any new measures from being implemented.
Now the country has a new coalition government in place, it is the perfect opportunity for the DGT to push through the new legislation and further improve road safety for all of us.
January 14, 2021