At the end of 2020, the DGT published a broad reform of the Traffic Law that aimed to improve the road safety on national highways. A series of changes that were approved shortly after, but are gradually coming into effect.
This will happen with one of the most profound changes: these are the three new speed limits that come into force on May 11. That will be the official date on which the landscape of many cities will change, especially those that, for now, have not lowered the limits of their streets. And it is that the General Directorate of Traffic has wanted some margin so that the different localities adapt their signage and we all have time to adapt and know the new regulations.
Until now, the generic speed limit in cities was set at 50 kilometres per hour. As of May 11, this figure will be reserved for high-capacity roads that have two or more lanes for each direction, such as the CV-905 in Torrevieja which saw the speed limit reduced not too long ago.
With the aim of eradicating mortality in urban accidents and avoiding both accidents and their consequences, two new limitations will arrive: 30 kilometres per hour and 20 kilometres per hour, depending on the street.
30 kilometres per hour
This is the limit chosen for roads that have a single lane in each direction, which is already being applied in many Spanish cities. It should be noted that the areas reserved for certain vehicles or users (such as those for public transport) are not counted.
20 kilometres per hour
This new limit will be the one that regulates traffic on single-platform roads, that is, those streets in which the sidewalk and the road are unified and, therefore, pedestrians and vehicles share space although the preference is always of the first.
The penalties, consequently, will also change: driving over the speed limit will be considered a serious offence that will be punished with a fine of 100 euro without loss of points on the driving licence. Driving at excessive speed will result in higher fines and the loss of points.
Finally, it must be borne in mind that the town councils will have the power to reduce these new generic speeds if they consider it necessary and provided that, previously, they install the signage that announces a different limit. To this must be added that, in some exceptional cases, the speed may be increased up to 50 kilometres per hour on roads with a single lane in each direction.