New traffic rules in Spain

New traffic rules in Spain

On 21 March 2022, some changes to the Spanish Road Traffic Act (Ley de Tráfico y Seguridad Vial) came into force that are also relevant for residents and holidaymakers on Fuerteventura.

1. New mobile phone regulations
Distracted driving, for example through the use of mobile phones or other electronic devices, has been the most common cause of fatal road accidents in Spain since 2016. For this reason, in future it is no longer allowed to hold a mobile phone in your hand while driving. Regardless of whether the phone is actually used, simply picking it up is punishable by a fine of 200 euros. In addition, the holder of a Spanish driving licence will be deducted 6 points instead of the previous 3.

2. Safety belts and child seats
Up to a height of 1.35 metres, children must use a restraint system approved for their height and weight. In principle, children must sit in the rear seat unless there is no rear seat, the rear seat is already fully occupied by other children, or no restraint system can be attached to the rear seat. The non-use or incorrect use of seat belts and child restraints will be punished with the deduction of 4 points instead of the previous 3 points for holders of a Spanish driving licence. The fine is 200€.

3. No speeding when overtaking on rural roads
In future, exceeding the maximum permitted speed by a maximum of 20 km/h during overtaking manoeuvres on ordinary rural roads will be prohibited.

4. Zero alcohol level for underage road users
For underage drivers, a zero-alcohol rule applies in principle, also on bicycles and scooters. The fine is 500 euros.

5. Overtaking cyclists
When overtaking cyclists, it is generally permitted to cross a solid centre line as long as you do not endanger any oncoming road users. However, you must move completely into the opposite lane. If several lanes are available in the direction of travel, one must also completely change lanes when overtaking, otherwise a minimum distance of 1.5 metres applies.

6. Throwing objects out of the window
Finally, throwing objects that pose a fire or accident hazard onto the roadway or its surroundings is punishable by a fine of €500 and the loss of 6 driving licence points.

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