Driving in Spain - Spanish Driving Laws

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Don Quixote, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    Driving in Spain is more than simply sticking to the "wrong side of the road". If you drive a car or a motorhome in Spain you need to be aware of the laws as outlined below.

    You must have the following documents with you at all times:
    Your passport. Your driving licence. Proof of the insurance. Your vehicle registration.

    Spanish law also insists that your vehicle is equipped with:
    2 EU approved Red warning triangles, at least one EU approved reflective jacket, spare light bulbs (plus any necessary tools to change them), a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, a spare wheel, and a sticker indicating the nationality of the car. Reflective jackets must be kept inside the car - and MUST be put on before you get out of the car after a breakdown, an accident, or if the police stop you.

    Rental Cars must also be properly equipped - make sure before you drive one away!

    You should also be aware that:
    Driving without a license will automatically land you in prison for 6 months! Wearing seat-belts is obligatory - in the front and the rear. Children under 12 cannot travel in the front of a car without a child-seat/booster. It is illegal for a driver to use a mobile phone - even when stopped at the roadside. If you wear glasses for driving, you must carry a spare pair in the car.

    Drink Driving:
    Contrary to popular belief, Spanish drink-driving laws are very strict. The legal limit is around half the limit in the UK. Best not to drink at all if you are driving.

    On the spot fines:
    For most minor offences, foreign drivers will receive on the spot fines. If you don't have the cash to pay them, the police may escort you to a cash machine! If you still can't pay - you may well be arrested and detained. (See bottom of this post )

    Parking:
    Obviously no parking is allowed where warning signs are displayed. Parking is also prohibited in areas where the curb is painted yellow. Parking is metered in some areas. In other areas, spaces are marked in blue. A ticket needs to be purchased to park in these spaces. In some places you can buy a parking ticket from a machine. In other areas, an attendant will sell you a parking ticket. If you leave your car in a restricted area, your car may be towed. A sticker will be placed on the curb telling you where the car has been taken. The fees to get your car back can be very high.

    Be aware that reducing road accidents is currently a top priority for the Spanish government - so don't ignore these laws. Also pay strict attention to speed limits!

    It is illegal to pass on the right (or "undertake") in free-flowing traffic.
    On motorways you must indicate before overtaking, only overtake on the left, and indicate again before pulling back into the nearside lane. I know many of the Spanish drivers do not, but be aware it is required.

    You must give way to traffic approaching from your left, especially at roundabouts!

    You must not cross a solid unbroken white line in the road.
    Unbroken white lines are common and it is illegal to cross them.You will see them on major roads - telling you that you cannot change lanes. At slip roads on motorways - you must not change enter or exit the slip road until you reach the section where the white line changes from solid to broken.

    You will also see them at some road junctions - telling you that you cannot turn left. This is often the case when you want to leave a fast or major road by turning left. In these cases you must continue to an exit point on the right - flyovers and underpasses are common on major roads and these must be used.

    Toll Roads
    Road names that begin with an ‘AP’ are toll roads. You have to pay to use them - but they are a good option - especially when you first arrive in Spain. They have less traffic, road signs are better, and you won't have to deal any strange and confusing junctions. The toll system is simple. You just join the road, and every so often you will reach a toll-booth where you pay a small fee. The further you drive, the more toll-booths you pass, and the more you pay. You don't pay as you enter or leave the toll-road.

    Speed Limits on Spanish Roads
    Speed limits vary considerably, and although the Spanish seem to ignore them completely - foreign drivers should be careful. The traffic-cops love fining foreigners! Observe the road-speed signs.
    But below is a rough guide.
    * Toll roads, motorways 120Km/h (75mph)
    * Other major roads 90 - 100 km/h (55mph)
    * Built-up areas 50km/h (30mph)
    * Residential areas - check the signs but often as low as 15mph.

    If You Are Stopped By The Police - On the spot fines:
    If you are stopped by the police on a major highway - you MUST put on your yellow reflective jacket BEFORE you exit the car. If you don't, the police will fine you! For most minor offences, foreign drivers will receive on the spot fines. If you don't have the cash to pay them, the police may ( this is still unclear ) escort you to a cash machine! If you still can't pay - they may impound your car.
    If it is a rental car, you may be arrested and detained until payment can be sorted.

    I hope this helps.
     
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  2. solo 1

    solo 1 Funster Life Member

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    Whats the weather like in Portugal this time of year....... :Eeek: :whistle2: :LOL:..
     
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  3. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    There's always one...........
     
  4. John & Joan

    John & Joan Funster

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    You must not cross a solid unbroken white line in the road.

    This is also advice given on the N332 website.

    If you are held up by cyclists or a slow moving vehicle (ie. farm tractor etc. ) it is permitted to cross a solid white line to pass safely provided there is no oncoming traffic.
     
  5. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    Pretty sure I am correct that this is standard across Europe, I certainly have always believed this to be the case.
     
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  6. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    You may will be right or pretty sure, but in Spain it's fact.
     
  7. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    Just received an email from a Spanish Police friend thought might be of use here as some readers may not be aware.

    Driving in most parts of Spain is generally a pleasurable experience. The roads are good, there’s not too much traffic and petrol is cheaper than in other European countries.

    It’s easy to forget about what we’re doing when we are driving in this country, especially if we’re with friends, the sun is shining and we’re on our way to somewhere exciting.

    Nevertheless, the driver must always be aware of his actions and remember that he is in charge of not only the safety of himself and his passengers, but also of those on the roads around him.

    And, the DGT has put together a mountain of rules and regulations to make sure that circulating around the roads and motorways in Spain is a safe experience for everyone.

    Of course, there are those that everyone knows not to do, like drive through a red light or drive without wearing a seatbelt, but there are also others so obscure and some so unbelievable that it is easy to fall foul of the law and find yourself with a sanction without even realizing that you’ve done anything wrong.

    The following top 10 list of the strangest things that drivers have been fined for, which all appear in the Reglamento General de Circulación (General Traffic Law), and haven’t been made up!

    1. Driving with one hand or arm outside of the vehicle can lead to a fine of 100 euro. Article 18 of the General Traffic Law states that the driver and passengers should always maintain a sensible position inside the vehicle.

    2. Driving without wearing a T-shirt or shirt, barefoot or wearing flip-flops comes with a fine of 200 euro for not driving with the correct clothing or footwear, which could diminish the driver’s capacity to control the vehicle.

    3. You have to be extremely careful when parking on sand at the beach because if the area is classified as ‘protected’, you could end up with a fine of up to 6,000 euro.

    4. Making the most of being stationary at a red light to touch up your make-up or eat something could cost you 200 euro and two points off your license.

    5. Driving with the music blasting out in an area where quiet is required, like a hospital, or during the early hours of the morning will be sanctioned with a fine of 80-100 euro. In one case, a fine of 2,400 euro was imposed for not allowing neighbours to sleep.

    6. You should only use the car horn in cases of emergency, to avoid an accident or if you want to overtake someone and alert them of your action. Any other use could lead to an 80-euro fine.
    7. Driving in the left-hand lane or in the middle lane if the right-hand lane is free could result in a fine of 200 euro, according to Articles 28 and 31.

    8. Be careful if you’re having an argument whilst driving, as if you’re seen taking your eye off the road on several occasions, you could end up with a fine of 80 euro. The same amount will be applied if the driver is caught biting his nails, kissing the co-pilot or insulting other drivers using hand signals!

    9. Both hands should be kept on the steering wheel whilst driving and the driver’s ears should be visible.

    10. Filling up the car with petrol with the radio on comes with a fine of up to 91 euro.

    Source: www.elmundo.es

    The last one, I was not aware of and I have lived here for 5 year now!
     
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