Traffic Laws – Changes from March 2022

The Congress of Deputies approved the Law on Traffic, Circulation of Motor Vehicles and Road Safety in December 2021. They are as follows:-

01 Distractions

Increases from 3 to 6 the points to be deducted for using or holding in your hand, mobile phone devices while driving.

Since 2016, distractions at the wheel are the first cause of fatal accidents (31%), in 2020 it increased 3 points above the previous year. Fine is kept at 200 euros.

02 Safety belt and protection elements

Increases from 3 to 4 the points for not using, or not using properly, the seat belt, child restraint system, helmet and other mandatory protection elements. The same fine of 200 euros is maintained.

1 out of every 4 deaths in a traffic accidents are caused through not wearing a seat belt.

03 More safety for cyclists

The safety of cyclists is increased by making it mandatory, on roads with more than one lane in each direction, to change lanes when overtaking cyclists or mopeds. In addition, the points to be deducted when overtaking endangering or hindering cyclists without leaving the mandatory minimum separation of 1.5m, are increased from 4 to 6, maintaining the fine amount of 200 euros. Stopping or parking in bike lanes or on cycle paths is also prohibited.

04 Littering the roads

Increases from 4 to 6 the points for throwing objects that can cause accidents or fires onto the road or in its vicinity.

05 Unification of the period to erase licence points

2 years without committing infractions is the term that has to pass before a driver can recover his initial balance of points.

Until the approval of the reform of the Law, this period varied depending on the seriousness of the infraction committed. It has been simplified, so that it is easier to understand and communicate.

06 Safe and efficient driving courses

2 points can be recovered from the license for taking safe and efficient driving courses. A Ministerial order will develop the necessary requirements and the conditions that must be met. These courses are becoming established as good practice and provide additional training for drivers.

07 Minors and alcohol and drugs

Underage drivers of any vehicle (mopeds, AM permit, motorcycles up to 125cc, bicycles and personal mobility vehicles) may not circulate with an alcohol level greater than 0, both in blood and in expired air.

08 Anti-start breathalyzer (Alcoholock)

Mandatory for passenger road transport vehicles that are registered after July 6, 2022. These vehicles are required to have an interface installed for the installation of these devices. This is a measure demanded by the road passenger transport sector.

09 Overtaking

The possibility that passenger cars and motorcycles may exceed the speed limits on conventional roads by 20 km/h when overtaking other vehicles is stopped.

2 out of 3 fatal accidents occur on conventional roads. In 2019, the reference year, there were 239 fatalities in head-on collisions on conventional roads. This suppression is in accordance with the principle of a safe system, of eliminating or reducing risks, and overtaking on conventional roads is one of them.

OTHER CHANGES

In addition to the changes mentioned above, the Law also includes new rules:

10 Bikers

The use of certified or approved wireless devices is authorized for use in the protective helmet of motorcycle and moped drivers, for communication or navigation purposes, provided that it does not affect driving safety.

11 Restrictions in Low Emission Zones

A new serious infraction is introduced, with an amount of 200 euros for not respecting the traffic restrictions derived from the application of the protocols in the event of pollution and low emission zones.

The Climate Change and Energy Transition Law requires municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants to establish Low Emission Zones.

12 Cheating in the examinations to obtain a driver’s license

Is introduced, as an infraction with a penalty of 500 euros: the use of intercommunication devices not authorised by regulation in the tests for obtaining and recovering driving permits or licenses or other administrative authorisations to drive or collaborate or assist with the use of said devices. In addition, the applicant will not be able to take the tests again to obtain the permit within a period of 6 months.

13 Automatic driving

For the first time, reference to the automated vehicle is also included in Spanish legislation in several articles of the Traffic Law.

All these innovations will come into force on 21st March 2022

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