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guardia-civil enforcing road regulationsThe new upgrade to the law on road safety (“Ley de Seguridad Vial” in Spanish) has been approved by the Spanish parliament and will be enforced sometime in the first half of 2014. No date has been announced yet but it will be one month after the law is published in the official government gazette.

Here is an outline of the new changes

  1. Fines for driving under the influence of drugs will be increased from 500€ to 1000€ with a loss of 6 points from the driving license. In cases of driving under the influence of alcohol the fine will be increased to 1000€ in cases of repeated offences or if the amount of alcohol in the blood of the driver is double the maximum limit. The saliva test, a quicker alternative to a blod test, will be generalized.
  2. There will be a new system for drug and alcohol tests for pedestrians. Previously these tests were reserved for pedestrians involved into a road accident. Now they will be required if the pedestrian has committed any type of infraction. Helmets for cyclists under 16 years old will be compulsory. There will be a fine of 200€ for non-compliance paid by the parents.
  3. Minors under 12 years old or smaller than 1.35cm won’t be allowed to seat in the front seat of a vehicle. Exceptions will be made for vehicles with only one row of seats. Vehicles carrying children without special child car seats will be immediately stopped by the authorities.
  4. Vehicles requiring a C or D driving licence will be immediately stopped by the authorities if the driver has not got the necessary driving license for these types of vehicles.
  5. Radar inhibitors and radar detectors will be outlawed. The usage of radar detectors will incur a fine of 200€ and the loss of 3 points. The use  of radar inhibitors will incur a  fine of  6000€ and the  loss of 6 points.  Only those devices that list the locations of radar based on a database will be allowed.
  6. Change of speed limits. On specific motorways the speed limit will be increased from 120 Km/h to 130 Km/h. As before the offence will become a crime when the speed of the vehicle is in excess of 80 Km/h over the motorway speed limit (in this case 210 Km/h).
  7. Foreigners resident in Spain will be forced to change from a foreign registration plate to a Spanish one or as an alternative register the vehicle with the DGT (The Directorate General of Traffic “Dirección General de trafico” in Spanish)
  8. For the payment of fines, the period eligible for 50% discount for prompt payment will be extended from 15 days to 20 days.
  9. According the new “AIRE project”, in specific areas, vehicles with high levels of emissions will be prevented from entering the area if the pollution levels exceed a certain threshold.
  10. There will be fines if a vehicle drops part of its load while driving on the road. This is extremely dangerous for other vehicles and was  not previously included in the possible list of infractions in the Spanish road regulations.
  11. Prohibition of exporting unsafe vehicles to other countries. The transfer or the export of unsafe vehicles according to Spanish regulations will be forbidden. This is to curb the practice of exporting old vehicles that do not meet Spanish safety requirements and environmental regulations to countries with more permissive regulations. This regulation will come in force, in accordance the United Nations Global Plan of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. Each year more than 1,300,000 people die worldwide in road related accidents.

These are just few of the many regulations that will come into force with the new law. We will update this article as soon as the new BOE will be published.