Monday, October 25, 2004

New driving laws in Spain

Last week the Spanish government passed new legislation aimed at reducing Spain's terrible record of traffic accidents and road safety. Here is a summary of the new traffic legislation in Spain based on the new "points" system:

From now on there will be three main categories of drivers:
"Normal" - 12 points
"New drivers" - drivers with less than 3 years experience - 8 points
"Veterans" - drivers who have lost all their points and have got a new licence - 8 points.

How to win back points:
If drivers successfully complete a course of "sensibilizaciĆ³n and reeducaciĆ³n" they will be awarded 4 points.
If drivers drive for three years without committing any breach of conduct they will win back all their points.

Points lost for bad driving:

Drivers lose 6 points for:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol (>0,75 mg/l).
  • Driving under the influence of drugs
  • Refusing to undergo breath tests
  • Driving in the wrong direction
  • Driving in unauthorised races or competitions
  • Dangerous driving
  • Driving vehicles which are not permitted on motorways
  • Speeding over 50% or 30 km over the authorised speed

Drivers lose 4 points for:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol ((0,25-0,75 mg/l)
  • Driving a vehicle with too many passengers (50% more than the authorised limit)
  • Driving in parallel with other vehicles
  • Driving a vehicle with no registration plate
  • Driving a vehicle which has not passed its MOT
  • Driving irresponsibly
  • Speeding (over 40-50 km the limit)
  • Failing to respect right of way
  • Failing to respect a STOP sign
  • Failing to respect overtaking laws
  • Changing direction in dangerous situations, such as tunnels, junctions, motorways and roads where overtaking is forbidden.
  • Reversing on motorways
  • Accelerating to prevent other vehicles from overtaking
  • Overtaking on bends or when visibility is reduced
  • Failure to obey traffic police
  • Failure to obey traffic lights.

Drivers lose 3 points for:

  • Speeding
  • Not respecting distances with vehicles in front
  • Driving without lights
  • Driving with lights which dazzle other drivers
  • Driving while using other devices which prevent the driver from paying full attention to driving (eg mobile telephones)
  • Stopping or parking in bends, areas with reduced visibility, tunnels, junctions, dangerous areas or areas which present other drivers with difficulties

Drivers lose 2 points for:

  • Stopping or parking in: places which make it more difficult for other vehicles to turn; urban areas where lack of visibility represents danger; tram lines; places which make it difficult for other drivers to see road signs; lanes reserved for public transport
  • Driving vehicles which have mechanisms installed aimed at avoiding police controls
  • Not obeying rules of overtaking other vehicles (even if other drivers are not put at risk)
  • Changing direction or reversing against traffic rules
  • Driving without wearing seatbelts, helmets or other compulsory protective devices (driver or passengers),
  • Riding motorbikes with underage passengers (12 years) without permission


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