New driving law comes into force: check all the changes here
Text makes the use of helmets compulsory for electric scooter riders and establishes a six-point penalty for anybody using their phone at the wheel
BarcelonaThis Monday, the traffic law approved by the Spanish parliament on December 2 came into force. It is an update of the point-based driving license, in force since 2006. The new text toughens punishments for having a cell phone in your hand while driving and puts more limitations on drivers of electric scooters, who will have to wear a helmet at all times and are definitively banished from pavements. These are all the changes in the text:
- The number of license points to be lost for driving while holding a mobile phone is increased from three to six. The €200 fine and three penalty points is maintained if the offender is using their phone but is not holding it in their hand.
- The punishment for throwing objects that may cause fires or accidents onto the road or its surroundings is also made tougher: offenders will be docked six points, whilst, until now, it was only four.
- The number of points docked for putting cyclists in danger, hindering them or not leaving the minimum separation of 1.5 metres when overtaking them will be increased from four to six. Stopping or parking in bicycle lanes will also penalised.
- The points docked for not using seat belts, child restraint systems, helmets and other protective elements, or doing so inappropriately, are increased from three to four.
Limits on overtaking
- The possibility for cars and motorcycles to exceed the generic speed limits on roads by 20 km/h when overtaking other vehicles is abolished.
Obligations for scooters
- Personal mobility vehicles and bicycles and cycles will not be allowed to circulate on sidewalks and other pedestrian areas.
- Mandatory use of helmets for users of personal mobility vehicles, such as scooters.
Against radar detectors
- As of today, all drivers who carry speed trap detectors in their vehicles will be docked three points. Until now, only the use of such devices was punished.
Respect of anti-pollution regulations
- A €200 fine will be issued for not respecting traffic restrictions derived from the application of protocols to counter high pollution episodes and set up low emission zones.
- Underage drivers of any vehicle may not have any alcohol in their bloodstream. Not observing this rule is considered a very serious infraction (€500).
- Companies transporting people and goods will be able to access the driver's registry online to know whether their workers' driving license is valid or not. The only information they will receive is not in force (red) or in force (green).
- Using unauthorised intercom devices in driving tests will be considered a very serious offence, punishable by €500 and six months without being able to retake the test.
- Drivers will recover the 12 points on the license if they do not commit any offences in two years, provided that they had not lost all their points. Drivers may recover two points on their license by taking safe driving courses.
- As of July 6, the incorporation of ignition interlock breathalysers in passenger transport vehicles (e.g. school buses) will be mandatory. Failure to comply is a very serious offence (€500).
- It is considered a very serious infringement to "fail to comply with the rules on roadside assistance". It carries a €500 fine.
- A minor offence (up to €100) is created for "failure to comply with the obligation of drivers to be in control of the vehicle at all times".