Driving home from Malaga earlier this week Miranda pointed out to me – quite clearly – a Guardia Civil Trafico unit on the side of the A 357. After the short discussion that we had about the speed that I was driving with I remembered that this week new and tougher traffic laws have been implemented in Spain. May be I should take that a bit more into consideration.
Some of the new laws include: If the Guardia Civil observe a motoring offence and note the vehicle registration number, this provides sufficient evidence to prosecute. There is no need to stop the vehicle any more. There will be a fine of €600 and a loss of six points for a ‘very serious’ speeding offence. As everybody in Spain starts off with twelve points (which can grow to max 14 points after good behavior) loosing half of your points in one strike sounds hefty. (with a Dutch license I am relatively safe there)
There is a loss of six points and a fine of €500 for lesser speeding offences. Speeding fines can apply for exceeding the limit by just 1kph. On some motorways the speed limit is being increased from 120 km/h to 130km/h. However, in some towns the speed limit is being reduced from 30km/h to 20km/h. If a radar inhibitor/speed camera detector of any sort is installed in the car, the fine is anything up to €6,000 and the loss of six points.
A fine of €1.800 will be levied if the car has been involved in a serious or very serious offence and the national police authority is not notified of who was driving the car. (There will be no loss of points for this.).If the vehicle weighs less than 3.500 kilos and has no valid insurance the fine will be €1.500, no loss of points but the vehicle will be immobilised for one month. If the vehicle is parked and has no insurance then the fine is €800.
If the driver doubles the legal alcohol limit, is a frequent offender, or refuses to take the breath test then there is a loss of six points and a fine of €1.000. The same applies for driving under the influence of drugs. A loss of four points will be applied if the driver is not correctly licensed for the vehicle.
Drivers have higher duties under the new laws to ensure the safety of cyclists of all ages. Cyclists under the age of 16 must wear a helmet. The Guardia Civil has the right to seize any vehicle carrying children without legally compliant child seats. The specific rules as to where children must sit in the vehicle (according to age/ height) must be observed. Failure to comply may result in heavy fines. An EU Directive will be implemented so that driving offences committed in one EU country are reported to the EU country of registration of the vehicle in question. Stricter rules are being implemented for the Spanish registration of foreign registered vehicles kept in Spain.
Let’s hope that this further decrease the number of road accidents, last year down for the tenth consecutive year. In 2013 there have been almost 3.000 fewer deaths than in 2003, during which 4.000 people were killed. But I guess Miranda will have to remind me a few times more on the speedometer .