Next Tuesday new Spanish speed limits are due to come into force. Last November 2020, the Spanish Government announced the adoption of new measures and reforms in traffic regulations, aiming to reduce the accident rate, particularly among users of roads presenting greater risk.
Changes come into force on Tuesday 11 May, as per Royal Decree 970/2020 amending Article 50 of the General Traffic Regulations to establish new speed limits in urban areas.
The royal decree states that the new Spanish speed limits are to come into effect six months after their publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE), which took place on November 11, 2020. Therefore, speed changes on urban roads will become effective on Tuesday May 11.
The new general limits depend on the type of road, 20 km/h on single carriageway roads with a pavement sidewalk platform; 30 km/h on one-lane roads per direction of movement and 50 km/h on roads with two or more lanes per direction and crossings.
The regulations state that the lanes reserved for the circulation of some drivers, or for the exclusive use of public transport, will not be counted, and vehicles carrying dangerous goods must now circulate at a maximum of 40 km/h on crossings and roads with two or more lanes in each direction. We understand these rules apply to urban areas and zones with special precautions.
The royal decree also establishes that generic speeds may be lowered by a Municipal Authority using specific signalling. Each Town Hall Council may also increase the speed on roads with a single lane, in each direction, up to a maximum speed of 50 km/h, provided that it is specifically signalled.
As for conventional roads, cars and motorcycles may not exceed the speed limits on conventional roads by anything more than 20 km/h when they overtake other vehicles. The DGT reminded of the new limits through their Twitter account last month.
?La #velocidad genérica en vías urbanas de 1 carril por sentido será de 30 km/h y 20 km/h en las plataformas únicas.
— Dir. Gral. Tráfico (@DGTes) April 5, 2021
Other measures adopted include an increase from 3 to 6 penalty points for using a mobile phone manually (without hands-free), as well as the increase from 3 to 4 points for not using a seat belt, helmet, or other protection elements required by law.
The Minister of the Interior highlighted also that the carrying of radar detection devices in a vehicle will now mean an automatic fine of €500 and the loss of three points from the driver’s license. At present, there are only fines for using such devices while driving, but according to the minister “it has been shown that, ahead of a road control, drivers deactivate them to prevent traffic agents from being able to prove their use, so this reform will now sanction their mere possession.
In addition, the reform includes a new very serious offence, defined as “committing fraud in driving tests using unauthorised intercom devices”. In this case the penalty will be €500 and banned for 6 months from being able to complete the driving test.
More information can be found via the excellent English speaking N332