Road Traffic laws in Spain

Spanish parliament to vote today on reforms to road safety laws

The Spanish parliament will vote today on proposed reforms to make road safety laws tougher. However, after months of discussing over 200 possible amendments to the current law there is still no clear consensus in parliament. Although the reforms were unanimously agreed last week by Comisión de Interior some parliamentary groups such as the PP and the UPyD are still trying to impose their conditions in return for their support. Moreover even if the government gets the reforms to the law passed in parliament it will still have to be approved by the Senate before it comes into effect next year.

The reforms include proposals for many changes to the law including the express payment of fines (15 days) in order to get a 50% discount (now the discount stands at just 30%). In addition the reforms would make it possible to win back points lost on the driving license (up to 6 points every two years) if drivers are prepared to attend re-education courses.

Reforms would also improve the technology used to report incidents. According to the government the idea is to make it easier for those drivers who want to pay fines quickly and make it much more difficult for those who usually try and avoid paying fines.

For example, any driver who has two fines pending payment will not be able to do any transactions in the department of traffic for any vehicle that is registered under their name. The new laws also make it possible to immobilise any vehicle that is circulating without insurance or motorbikes or mopeds whose owners are caught riding their vehicles without wearing their helmets.

The new list of sanctions for which points are deducted from driving licenses are to be made stricter – for example for carrying radar inhibitors. In addition drivers will not be able to take their car to have a MOT if their insurance payments are not up to date.

The margin of 10 kilometres per hour on speeding fines will be abolished under the proposed reforms and a fine of 100 will be given after going over the speed limit by just one kilometre. On the other hand there are infractions that will no longer result in points being deducted such as stopping or parking in bus lanes.

Today the government will also try and reintroduce a reform which was included in the first draft of the law which is that cars can be towed away if drivers park in blue zones without paying or go over the amount of time on their parking tickets. The CiU who went to great lengths to achieve an amendment to the proposed reforms for points not to be deducted from licenses until drivers have gone over 131 kilometres per hour are now trying to get another amendment approved which would mean that the department of traffic would be forced to return points to drivers for things that under the new proposals no longer mean that points are deductable.

The PP is against extending the payment time for fines and measures against drivers with fines pending payment. They are also against the suppression of the right to appeal against sanctions.