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The information provided on this page is a guide to the official Spanish Rules of the Road, Real Decreto 1428/2003, Regalmento General de Circulación. The complete Spanish text can be found on the website of the Boletín Oficial del Estado (https://www.boe.es/buscar/doc.php?id=BOE-A-2003-23514).
This document is provided as a resource for English speakers who operate a motor vehicle in Spain. It has been written to help those people who operate vehicles in Spain to understand the differences between traffic law in their home country and the traffic law as it is enforced in Spain.
The information in this document is provided on an “as is” basis. It is in no way intended
as a replacement to the official documents and it cannot be used in law or in liability.
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Road users are obliged to behave in such a way that they do not unduly interfere with movement or cause danger, unnecessary harm or inconvenience to people, or damage to property (article 9.1 of the articulated text).
1. Motorists must drive with the diligence and caution necessary to avoid any damage to themselves or others, taking care not to endanger either themselves or other occupants of the vehicle and the rest of road users. It is strictly forbidden to drive in a negligent or reckless manner (article 9.2 of the articulated text).
2. Conduct referred to as negligent driving will be considered as a serious offence. Behaviour defined as reckless driving will be considered a very serious offence.
1. The carrying out of works, installations, placement of containers, street furniture or any other element or object permanently or provisionally on the roads or land subject to the application of the legislation on traffic, motor vehicle traffic and road safety will require prior authorisation by its owner and will be governed by the provisions of the highway legislation and its development regulations, as well as municipal regulations. The same norms will be applicable to the interruption of works due to circumstances or special characteristics of traffic, which can be carried out at the request of the autonomous Jefatura Central de Tráfico (article 10.1 of the articulated text).
2. It is prohibited to throw, deposit or abandon on roads, objects or materials that may hinder free movement, stopping or parking, in such a way to make them dangerous or cause deterioration to the roads or facilities, or produce on it or in its vicinity, effects that modify the required conditions for movement, stopping or parking (article 10.2 of the articulated text).
3. No apparatus, installation or construction shall be installed on roads or lands subject to the scope of the legislation on traffic, movement of motor vehicles and road safety, nor shall actions such as filming, surveys or tests be carried out, even if provisional or temporary, which may hinder movement.
1. Those who have created an obstacle or danger on the road should ensure it is cleared as soon as possible. In the meantime, necessary measures should be undertaken so that warning may be given to other users and movement not hindered.
2. Obstacles on hard shoulders and pedestrian crossings will not be considered as obstacles on the road as long as they comply with the basic regulations established for this purpose by the Ministry of Public Works and the road safety of users, in particular, cyclists.
3. Warning of the existence on the road of any obstacle or danger must be indicated effectively both day and night according to articles 103.3, 140 and 173.
4. All the actions that must be carried out by breakdown, medical or any other type of intervention service must be governed by principles of the use of appropriate and strictly necessary resources in each case. The autonomous body, Jefatura Centro de Tráfico, or, where appropriate, the regional or local authority responsible for regulating traffic, or its agents, will agree on the presence and permanence in the area of intervention of all personnel and equipment that is essential and ensure the absence of people who are not involved in the assistance work. In addition, the Jefatura will be responsible for pointing out in each specific case the places where the emergency services vehicles or other special services must be located, including provision of the best assistance and ensuring the most appropriate help for the public.
5. The performance of teams of emergency services, as well as mechanical assistance and road maintenance, should at all times ensure the least possible impact on the rest of road users, occupying the minimum possible roadway and following at all times the instructions given by the autonomous body Jefatura Central de Tráfico or, where appropriate, the regional or local authority responsible for regulating traffic, or its agents. The behaviour of drivers and users in cases of
emergency shall comply with the provisions of articles 69, 129 and 130 and, in particular, that of drivers of emergency service vehicles, as provided in articles 67, 68, 111 and 112.
6. Stopping or parking of vehicles used for the aforementioned services must be carried out in such a way that a new danger is not created and where the minimum obstacle to traffic is caused.
7. Stopping or parking in places other than those fixed by the agents of the traffic authority will be considered a serious infraction.
1. It is forbidden to throw anything into the road or its vicinity that could give rise to fire or, in general, pose a road safety risk.
2. Offences in this respect are considered as “serious offences”.
1. Vehicles may not use roads or land subject to traffic regulations if they emit electromagnetic signals with noise levels above the limits set by specific regulations, nor if they have gas or smoke emissions above the set limits, nor if they have been significantly reformed without authorisation. All drivers must cooperate in the tests for possible emission deficiencies.
2. Motor vehicles and mopeds with unsilenced exhausts without the required silencing device are prohibited from using trunk roads and roads in built-up areas.
These vehicles are also prohibited when the exhaust silencer is incomplete, inadequate, or has deteriorated, or when the gases cause resonance instead of being silenced – also prohibited are vehicles equipped with internal combustion engines without a device that prevents the downward expulsion of unburnt fuel, or which expel fumes that may hinder the visibility of other drivers or be harmful to them.
Traffic police can immobilise any vehicle that exceeds permitted levels of emissions, fumes and noise according to the type of vehicle.
3. The emission of pollutants as referred to in section 1 produced by motor vehicles above the limitations defined in the regulations governing vehicles is prohibited.
4. Equally, such emissions that exceed the levels generally established are forbidden when produced by other pollution sources, whatever their nature.
It is prohibited to load vehicles or transport people, goods or other items other than as defined in this chapter.
1. The number of passengers carried in a vehicle may not exceed the number of authorised places, which in public service vehicles and buses must be shown on signs inside the vehicle. Under no circumstances should the combined weight of travellers and luggage exceed the vehicle’s maximum authorised weight.
2. For the purposes of computing the number of passengers carried in vehicles authorised for school transport and minors, the provisions of the specific regulations on the subject will apply.
3. Offences against these limits, assuming a passenger excess of 50% over the authorised places, excluding driver and conductor, and with the exception of city and intercity buses, will be treated as “very serious”, and the vehicle will be immobilised by traffic police until the situation is rectified.
4. Failure to install the containment referred to above will be subject to a fine.
1. It is forbidden to carry passengers in positions other than those intended and equipped for them.
2. Notwithstanding the provisions of the previous section, people may travel in the cargo hold of goods transport vehicles under the specific conditions governing them.
3. Vehicles authorised to carry both people and cargo must be provided with sufficient containment for the load so that it does not obstruct the occupants nor harm them if it moves. Such containment will be in line with the specific regulations governing the vehicles.
1. The driver must stop the vehicle and pull away without jerks or sudden movements, as close as possible to the right edge of the road, and will avoid doing anything that could cause a distraction whist driving; the driver or person in charge, as applicable, will oversee the safety of passengers while the vehicle is in motion as well as when they are getting on or off.
2. In vehicles intended for the public service of collective transport of people, passengers are forbidden from:
The driver and, where applicable, the person in charge of vehicles intended for the public service of collective transport must stop anyone getting on, or require them to get off, if they fail to comply with the rules in this section.
1. Cycles that, by construction, cannot be used by more than one person can nonetheless, when the driver is of adult age, carry a minor of up to seven years of age in an additional seat of an approved type.
2. On mopeds and motorcycles, an additional passenger may travel in addition to the driver and, if applicable, the sidecar occupant, provided that this is stated in the driver’s licence or the vehicle’s registration certificate, and provided that the passenger is older than 12 years of age, wears a protective helmet, and meets the following conditions:
Under no circumstances may the passenger sit between the driver and the handlebars of the moped or motorcycle.
3. In exceptional circumstances, passengers over the age of seven may ride on motorcycles or mopeds driven by a parent or guardian, or by another adult authorised by them, provided that they wear an approved helmet and meet the conditions of the previous section.
4. Motorcycles, three-wheeled vehicles, mopeds and cycles and bicycles may tow a trailer or semitrailer provided they do not exceed 50% of the unladen weight of the towing vehicle and meet the following conditions:
On roads in built-up areas, bylaws will apply.
1. The length, width and height of the vehicle and its load must not exceed the maximum dimensions stipulated by the vehicle’s regulations or the maximum dimensions stipulated for the route being used.
2. The transport of indivisible loads that exceed the limits indicated in the previous point must apply for special authorisation to circulate under the General Vehicle Regulations in accordance with the rules and conditions of circulation established in Annex III of this regulatory code.
1. Loads transported in a vehicle, as well as any accessories or equipment used for the transport and protection of the load, must be arranged in a manner that safeguards against the load being able to:
2.The transport of materials that produce dust or can fall must always be totally and effectively covered.
3. The transport of annoying, harmful, unhealthy or dangerous loads, as well as loads that require specialised storage and transport conditions, must comply with the specific rules that regulate their transportation.
1. The load must not protrude from the vehicle’s floor, except in the cases and/or conditions specified in the following sections. Where a vehicle is pulled by an animal then the shafts of the vehicle may protrude forward but must not exceed the vehicle’s width nor protrude beyond the head of the draft animal closest to the vehicle.
2. In the case of vehicles intended exclusively for the transport of goods and cargo, and where the load is indivisible, then provided that the recommended storage and transport conditions are met the following may protrude:
3. For all other vehicles not intended exclusively for the transport of goods and cargo, the load may protrude from the rear only up to 10 percent of the vehicle’s length, and if it is indivisible by up to 15 percent.
4. For vehicles less than one metre wide, the load must not protrude laterally by more than 0.50 metres on either side of the vehicle’s longitudinal axis. The load must not protrude from the front of the vehicle but can protrude up to 0.25 metres from the rear of the vehicle.
5. When carrying a load that protrudes out from the vehicle’s dimensions, and only within the limits set in the previous sections, all appropriate precautions must be taken to avoid damage or danger to other road users, and safeguards should be put in place to minimise damage in the event of a possible collision or contact with another vehicle or object.
6. In all cases of loads protruding from the back of the vehicle as referred to in sections 2 and 3, warning signs must be put in place by means of the V-20 sign referred to in Article 173 and whose characteristics are set out in Annex XI of the General Vehicle Regulations. This sign should be fixed to the rear end of the load so that it remains perpendicular to the vehicle’s axis. When the load protrudes from the back of the vehicle and along its entire width then two v-20 signs must be fixed at the rear end of the load, one on each end of the load’s width, in such a way that they form an inverted “V”.
If the load is to be transported during the night, or under weather and/or environmental conditions that significantly reduce visibility, then the rear end of the load must also be marked with a red light. When the load protrudes from the front of the vehicle then the front of the load must be marked by a white light.
7. Loads that protrude beyond the side of the vehicle and its side clearance lights, such that the load’s edge projects more than 0.40 metres from the either front or rear side clearance light, and where such loads are transported during the night, or under weather and/or environmental conditions that significantly reduce visibility, then warning signs must be placed on both sides of the load which will include a white light and a white reflective surface towards the front plus a red light and a red reflective surface towards the rear.
8. Vehicles and loads that are circulating under special authorisation must meet the provisions set out in that authorisation.
The loading and unloading of goods and cargo must be carried out off the road.
In exceptional circumstances, where this is not possible, all necessary precautions must be taken to ensure that no danger or serious disturbance is caused to the transit of other road users, and the following rules must be taken into account:
1. Drivers must be able to control their vehicles or animals at all times. When approaching other users of the road, they must take all necessary precautions for their safety especially when dealing with children, the elderly, the blind or other clearly disabled persons (see article 11.1).
2. Drivers of horse-drawn or animal drawn carriages or cargo vehicles, and individuals mounted on horseback or other livestock, must maintain a sedate walking pace when on the road and in the vicinity of other livestock or pedestrians. They must maintain control of the animal at all times and are forbidden from allowing them to roam or stand freely on the road.
1. The driver must ensure that they have sufficient freedom of movement, the necessary field of vision and permanent attention to driving in order to guarantee the safety of themselves, all other occupants of the vehicles and other road users. For this reason the driver must take special care to maintain the proper driving position and ensure that all passengers, animals and any cargo in the vehicle are positioned so as not to interfere with the driver. The use of devices such as screens with internet access, television monitors, video and DVD players by the driver whilst the vehicle is moving is considered incompatible with the mandatory permanent attention required by the driver.
An exception to this includes GPS devices and cameras whose use is necessary for rear view manoeuvring or the ascent and descent of passengers.
Drivers must be able to control their vehicles at all times. This is the rule that applies to those drivers who drive barefoot, in flip flops or with any other type of footwear, and have an accident because they do not use proper footwear. As a general rule, the law does not specifically prohibit you from driving barefoot, or with flip flops, but remember that if you have an accident and were maybe unable to use the vehicle’s pedals correctly, you can be penalised.
Drivers must be able to maintain their own freedom of movement. You cannot manipulate, hold or touch anything other than the vehicle’s controls and the gear lever. Remember that if you have an injury and they bandage or cast a joint that limits your mobility, you will not be able to drive.
Drivers must maintain the necessary field of vision. Adhesives on the front part of large dimensions are completely prohibited or the placement of any object that may reduce visibility to the driver.
Drivers must pay permanent attention to driving. You should not take your eyes off the road, because during those seconds when we are looking at other things, any incident on the road could happen. (A child running into the road to catch a ball, for example.)
Drivers must maintain the proper position. The hand outside the window. Hands should be holding the steering wheel.
Drivers must maintain the correct position other occupants. Leaning the body out of the window or when a front-seated passenger puts their feet on the dashboard are the most common infractions.
Drivers must maintain the correct placement of objects. No objects can be transported inside the passenger compartment that could project out and cause any damage to the occupants. If this is not possible, they should be transported in the boot or the roof rack.
Drivers must maintain the correct placement of animals. Animals must be restrained or separated from the front part. There are different ways to transport animals; box, straps, etc … consult an animal shop for an approved system according to the size of your animal.
The use, by the driver of a moving vehicle, of devices such as screens with internet access, television monitors and video or DVD players is considered incompatible with the mandatory permanent attention to driving. For this purpose, the use of monitors that are in view of the driver and whose use is necessary for the vision of access or descent of pedestrians or for vision in vehicles with rear vison camera, as well as the GPS device are excepted.
2. It is forbidden for the driver to use earphones or headphones connected to receiving devices or sound players whilst driving, except during the teaching and performance of the open circuit aptitude test to obtain the two wheeled motorcycle driving licence as required in the General Driving Regulations.
The use, during driving, of mobile telephony devices and any other means or communication system is prohibited, except when the communication takes place without using hands or wearing helmets, headphones or similar instruments (article 11.3, second paragraph, of the articulated text).
Officers and agents of law enforcement are exempt when carrying out their duties.
3. It is prohibited to install mechanisms or systems in vehicles, to carry instruments, or to alter instruments, to be used to evade detection by traffic police, or to emit signals or to make signals for the same purpose, as well as the use of mechanisms for the detection of radar.
These types of infractions will be considered as serious.
1. The glassed surface of the vehicle must allow, at all times, a clear view for the driver, especially of the road he/she is driving on, without interference from any kind of stickers.
Stickers or sun shades are only allowed in the back windows when the vehicle has two exterior rear view mirrors that comply with the necessary technical specifications.
However, the use of stickers on vehicles is allowed under the conditions established in the regulation of vehicles.
The placement of badges provided for in transport, and other, legislation must be done in such a way that the driver’s clear vision is not restricted in any way.
Drivers of motor vehicles or bicycles may not travel on roads covered by traffic, motor vehicle traffic and road safety legislation if they have a blood alcohol level of more than 0.5 grams per litre, or breath alcohol level of more than 0.25 milligrams per litre.
In the case of vehicles used for the transport of goods with a maximum authorised weight of more than 3,500 kgs, vehicles used for the transport of passengers with more than nine seats, or public service vehicles, school transport or transport of minors, dangerous goods vehicles, or emergency services or special transport, drivers may not operate with a blood alcohol level of more than 0.3 grams per litre, or a breath alcohol level of more than 0.15 milligrams per litre. Drivers of any vehicle must not have a blood alcohol level of more than 0.3 grams per litre nor a breath alcohol level of more than 0.15 milligrams per litre for the two years immediately following the date of acquisition of the permit or licence that enables them to drive.
Only the antiquity of the licence will be taken into account when specialised licences are involved.
All drivers of motor vehicles or bicycles have to submit to tests established for the detection of possible intoxication by alcohol. All other road users also have to submit to said tests if they are involved in a traffic incident (article 12.2, first paragraph).
Police officers responsible for traffic matters may carry out these tests on:
1. Tests to detect possible alcoholic intoxication will be carried out by the agents in charge of traffic surveillance and will normally consist of the testing of exhaled air by means of officially authorised ethylometers which will measure the level of alcohol in the drivers’ breath.
At the request of the interested party or by order of the judicial authority, the tests may be repeated for the purposes of contrast, which may consist of blood, urine or other analogous tests (article 12.2, second paragraph).
2. When the persons to be tested have suffered injuries, ailments or illnesses whose seriousness does not allow the tests to be carried out, the medical staff of the medical centre to which they are sent will decide which tests to carry out.
1. If the test result gives a degree of alcoholic intoxication of more than 0.5 grams of alcohol per litre of blood or 0.25 milligrams of alcohol per litre of exhaled air, or that provided for certain drivers in Article 20 or, even if the results are under these limits, if the person examined shows obvious symptoms of being under the influence of alcoholic beverages, the agent will subject the interested party, for confirmation, to a second breathalyzer test in the same way the first test was carried out, of which he/she will be notified prior to redoing the test.
2. The person under review will be warned that they have the right to ensure, either themselves or any of his/her companions or witnesses present, that between the first and the second tests there has been a time lapse of at least ten minutes.
3. Likewise the driver or companions, if there are any, will be informed that they may make any observations they deem appropriate, which will be noted, and the results of the tests will be compared to blood, urine or other tests deemed appropriate by the medical staff of the medical centre to which they are taken.
4. In the event that the interested party wants further tests, the traffic officer will adopt the most appropriate measures for their transfer to the nearest health centre. If the medical centre staff think that the tests requested by the interested party are appropriate, they will adopt the measures laid out in article 26.
The cost of such tests must be deposited in advance by the interested party and if the result of the test is positive then payment will be made; in the case of the result of the test being negative, agents from the Jefatura Central de Tráfico (Central Traffic Headquarters) or the competent municipal or regional authorities will return the deposit.
If the result of the second test carried out by the traffic officer, or the tests carried out at the request of the interested party, should be positive, or when the driver of a motor vehicle should present obvious symptoms of driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or who appears to be involved in criminal conduct, the agent in question, in addition to applying the provisions of the Ley de Enjuiciamiento Criminal (Law of Criminal Procedure), must:
1. In the event that the result of any tests and analyses prove to be positive, the officer may proceed with the immediate immobilisation of the vehicle, by means of a seal or other procedure that prevents it from being moved, unless another licence-holding person is able to take charge of the vehicle, and the agent will make sure that the persons being transported, especially if children, elderly people, sick or invalid people are involved, and the safety of the vehicle and its cargo, are insured.
2. The vehicle may also be immobilised in the case of breathalyzer tests being refused (article 70 of the articulated text).
3. Except in cases in which the judicial authority has authorised a deposit or intervention, which cases would come under said judicial authority, the immobilisation of the vehicle will be without effect as soon as the reason for the immobilisation disappears, or a substitute licence-holding driver can offer sufficient guarantee to the traffic officers who immobilised the driver’s vehicle.
4. The costs involved in the immobilisation, transfer and impounding of the vehicle will be payable by the driver or the person legally responsible for the vehicle.
1. Health personnel will be obliged, in all cases, to obtain samples and send them to the appropriate laboratory, and to present the results of the tests that are carried out to the judicial authority, to the peripheral authorities of the Central Traffic Headquarters autonomous body and, where appropriate, the appropriate municipal authorities.
Among the data communicated by health personnel to the aforementioned authorities or bodies will appear, where appropriate, the system used in the investigation of blood alcohol level, the exact time the sample was taken, the method used to preserve it and the percentage of blood alcohol present in the individual examined.
2. Infringements to the various regulations of this chapter, related to driving after having ingested alcoholic beverages, or to the obligation to undergo the alcoholic detection tests, will be considered as very serious infractions.
1. Drivers of vehicles or bicycles who have ingested or incorporated into their bodies psychotropic drugs, stimulants or other similar substances, among which will be included, in all cases, medicines or other substances under whose effect the appropriate physical or mental condition appropriate to driving without danger is altered, are not allowed to drive on roads subject to the legislation on traffic, movement of motor vehicles and road safety.
2. Infractions to the regulations of this rule will be considered as very serious.
1. Tests for the detection of narcotic drugs, psychotropic drugs, stimulants or other analogous substances, as well as the persons obliged to fulfil them, shall comply with the provisions of the following paragraphs:
2. Infractions of this rule relating to driving under the influence of narcotic drugs, psychotropic drugs, stimulants or other similar substances, as well as the violation of the obligation to undergo tests for detection, will be considered as very serious infractions.
1. As a general rule, and especially on bends and brows of hills with reduced visibility, vehicles will drive, on all the routes subject of the Law on traffic, movement of motor vehicles and road safety, on the right and as close as possible to the edge of the road, maintaining sufficient lateral separation to traverse safely.
Even when there are no specific road signs that designate them, on brows of hills and bends with reduced visibility, every driver, except in the cases of overtaking provided in Article 88, must leave completely free the half of the road relating to those that drive in the opposite direction.
2. Instances of driving on the left, in the opposite direction to that stipulated, in a two-way road, will be considered as very serious infractions.
1. The driver of a car or a special vehicle with a maximum authorised mass exceeding 3,500 kilograms will drive on the road and not on the hard shoulder, except for emergency reasons. In addition, they must comply with the following rules:
On these roads, the central lane will only be used to carry out any necessary overtaking and when turning left.
2. Cases of driving on the left, in the opposite direction to the one stipulated, will be considered as very serious infractions as is stipulated in article 65.5.f) of the associated text.
The driver of a motor vehicle or a special vehicle with a maximum authorised mass exceeding 3,500 kilograms will drive on the road and not on the hard shoulder, except for emergency reasons. In addition, out of town, on roads with more than one lane specifically for your direction of travel, you will normally drive in the right-hand lane, although you can use the other lanes on your side of the road when the traffic or road situation permits, provided that does not hinder the progress of another vehicle behind you.
When one of the said roads has three or more lanes in the direction of travel, drivers of trucks or vans with a maximum authorized mass exceeding 3,500 kilograms, those of special vehicles that are not required to drive on the hard shoulder, and those of vehicles of more than seven metres in length, will normally drive in the far right lane, and will be able to use the middle lane in the same circumstances mentioned in article 31.
When driving on roads in built-up areas with at least two lanes reserved for the same direction, marked by longitudinal lines, except in the case of motorways, the driver of a car or a special vehicle may use the one that best suits their destination, provided it is not an obstacle to the movement of other vehicles, and one should not leave it other than to prepare to change direction, overtake, stop or park.
Driving in a “zig-zag” fashion will be penalised with a fine of 200 euro.
When assessing the number of lanes, for the purposes of the provisions of the previous articles, those reserved for certain vehicles or certain manoeuvres in accordance with the provisions of the following article will not be taken into account.
1. The use of the lanes according to speed and those reserved for certain vehicles and certain manoeuvres will be adjusted to what is indicated by the corresponding signals in this regulation.
2. High occupancy vehicles will be understood to be those exclusively designed for the transport of persons, whose maximum authorised mass does not exceed 3,500 kilograms, which are occupied by the number of people who, for each section of the road network, are in accordance with paragraph d) of this section. The use of lanes for vehicles with high occupancy (HOV) will be based on the following:
3. Infractions to the rules established in section 2 regarding traffic in the opposite direction to that established shall be considered very serious.
1. Drivers of animal-drawn vehicles, special vehicles with a maximum authorised mass not exceeding 3,500 kilograms, cycles, motorcycles, vehicles for people with reduced mobility or vehicles following cyclists, in the event that there is no lane or part of road specially dedicated to them, will drive on the hard shoulder to their right, if it is passable and sufficient for each one of them, and, where not, they will use the main part of the road.
They must also drive on the hard shoulder on the right, or, in the circumstances referred to in this section, on the main part of the road, those drivers of vehicles whose maximum authorised mass does not exceed 3,500 kilograms, in an emergency, or driving at an abnormally slow speed, thereby seriously disturbing the traffic flow.
On long descents with curves, when safety permits, cyclists can leave the hard shoulder and drive on the right side of the road when needed.
It is not allowed to cross the solid lane and cycle on the other lane. Solid lines must be respected by all drivers included cyclists.
2. It is forbidden for the vehicles listed in the previous section to travel side by side, except for bicycles, which may do so in a column of two, keeping as far to the extreme right of the road, and in single file when there is reduced visibility, or when they may cause problems to other traffic. On motorways they are only allowed to travel on the hard shoulder, without encroaching the road for any reason.
Exceptionally, when the hard shoulder permits, mopeds may travel side by side, without encroaching the road for any reason.
3.The driver of any of the vehicles listed in section 1, except bicycles, cannot overtake another vehicle if the time the vehicles are parallel exceeds 15 seconds or the distance travelled to overtake exceeds 200 metres.
4. Specific regulations will apply to historical vehicles.
5. Infractions to the provisions in section 3 will be considered serious.
1. When safety or traffic flow warrants it, a change in traffic direction may be ordered by the competent authority, the total or partial restriction of access to parts of the road, either in general, for certain vehicles or users, the closing of certain routes, obligatory diversions or the use of hard shoulders or lanes in the opposite direction to that normally foreseen (article 16.1 of the articulated text).
2. In order to avoid traffic jams and ensure traffic flow, restrictions or limitations may be imposed on certain vehicles and specific routes, which will be mandatory for the users affected (article 16.2 of the articulated text).
3.The closure of a road covered by the legislation on traffic, flow of motor vehicles and road safety will only be carried out on an exceptional basis and must be expressly authorised by the autonomous body Central Traffic Headquarters or, as the case may be, by the autonomous or local authority responsible for regulating traffic, unless it is caused by physical deficiencies of the infrastructure or by carrying out works on it; in this case the authority will be the owner of the road, who should whenever possible, authorise an alternative route and its signalling. The closing and opening to traffic must be executed, in any case, by the agents of the authority responsible for the surveillance and discipline of the traffic or of the personnel dependent on the body responsible
for the operation. The competent authorities who authorise the road closure are to publish information of the closures they have agreed upon.
4. The autonomous body Central Traffic Headquarters or, where appropriate, the regional or local authority responsible for regulating traffic, as well as the bodies responsible for the roads, may impose restrictions or limitations on traffic for reasons of road safety or traffic flow, at the request
of the owner of the road or other entities, such as concession companies of toll roads, and the petitioner will be obliged to signal the corresponding alternative route set by the traffic authority, throughout its journey.
5. Diversions contrary to those stipulated will be considered a very serious fault. Travel without the corresponding authorisation through routes subject to restrictions or limitations imposed for reasons of road safety or traffic flow will be sanctioned.
1. It is forbidden to drive on motorways with animal-drawn vehicles, bicycles, motorcycles and vehicles for people with reduced mobility (article 18.1 of the articulated text).
Notwithstanding the provisions of the previous paragraph, riders of bicycles over 14 years old may ride on the hard shoulders of the motorways, unless, for justified reasons of road safety, they are prohibited by the appropriate signalling. Said prohibition will be complemented with a panel that reports the alternative route.
2. Any driver who, for reasons of emergency, is forced to drive their vehicle on a motorway at abnormally reduced speed, regulated in article 49.1, must leave it by the first exit.
3. Those special vehicles or special transport systems that exceed the weights or dimensions established in the General Vehicle Regulations may travel, exceptionally, on motorways when this is indicated in the complementary authorisation that must be provided, and those that do not exceed said weights or dimensions, when, according to their characteristics, may drive faster than 60 kilometres per hour on level ground and comply with the conditions indicated in annex III of this regulation.
1. Subject to the provisions of the following sections, temporary or permanent traffic limitations may be established on the routes covered by the legislation on traffic, motor vehicle traffic and road safety, when required by safety or traffic flow considerations.
2. On certain routes, or in parts or sections of them included within the interurban public roads, as well as in urban sections, including crossings, temporary or permanent restrictions may be established on the movement of lorries with a maximum authorised mass exceeding 3,500 kgs, vans, joined vehicles, articulated vehicles and special vehicles, as well as vehicles in general that do not reach or are not allowed to reach the minimum speed that could be fixed when, due to holidays, seasonal vacations or mass movements of vehicles, high traffic volume is foreseen, or when the prevailing conditions make it necessary or convenient.
Likewise, for security reasons, temporary or permanent restrictions may be established on the circulation of vehicles in which their own dangerousness or that of their cargo warrants their removal from urban centres, or from environmentally-sensitive areas or from sections such as bridges or tunnels, or their movement outside of peak traffic hours.
3. It is necessary to communicate the aforementioned restrictions to the Jefatura Central de Tráfico (Central Traffic Authority) or, where appropriate, to the traffic authority of the autonomous region handling the situation.
4. The restrictions will be published, in every case, a minimum of eight working days in advance, in the Boletín Oficial del Estado (Official State Gazette) and, optionally, in the official journals of the autonomous regions affected.
In exceptional or unforeseen circumstances, when it is deemed necessary to achieve greater flow or safety of traffic, it will be the traffic officers responsible for traffic surveillance and discipline who, during the necessary time, will determine any appropriate restrictive measures to be taken.
5. In the case of an emergency, special authorisation may be granted for the movement of vehicles within the routes and time limits which are subject to the restrictions imposed in accordance with the provisions of the preceding sections, after justifying the absolute necessity of carrying out the journey along these routes and in the periods subject to restriction.
In these special cases, the registration number and main characteristics of the vehicle referred to, the transported merchandise, the routes affected and the special conditions applying, must be stated.
6. The authorisations referred to in the previous section will be granted to the authority that established the restrictions.
7. The restrictions on circulation regulated in this article are independent and do not exclude those established by other authorities according to their specific competencies.
8. Drivers of vehicles travelling on restricted roads without the authorisation mentioned in section 5 will be considered to be guilty of an infraction.
1. On two-lane roads, when the broken double line markings delimit a lane on both sides, this indicates that the lane is reversible, i.e. traffic can be regulated in one direction or the other by means of traffic lights or other means. Drivers travelling in these lanes must use at least dipped headlights on their vehicles, both day and night, in accordance with the provisions of article 104.
2. Drivers of vehicles moving in the opposite direction to that stipulated will be guilty of serious infractions, as stated in article 65.5.f) of said text.
1. In order to improve traffic flow, when there is more than one lane of traffic in each direction of travel, the traffic authorities may enable lanes for use in the opposite direction to the usual, duly marked in accordance with the provisions of article 144.
The use of lanes enabled for traffic in the opposite direction to the usual is limited to motorcycles and cars, and it is therefore forbidden to other vehicles, including passenger cars with a trailer. The users of this type of lanes will always drive with dipped headlights, at least, both day and night, at a maximum speed of 80 km/hour and a minimum of 60 km/hour, or lower if so established or specifically signposted, and may not move to the side invading the lane or lanes destined for the normal direction of movement, not even to overtake.
Drivers of vehicles travelling in lanes intended for the normal direction of traffic, adjacent to the one enabled for traffic in the opposite direction to the usual, may also not move sideways, invading those lanes enabled for use in the opposite direction to the usual; they will use, at the very least, dipped headlights, both day and night; and, in addition, if they have only one lane in their direction of movement, they will do so at a maximum speed of 80 km/hour and a minimum of 60 km/hour, or lower if so established or specifically marked, and if they have more than one lane in their direction of travel, they will travel at the speeds established in articles 48.1.a) 1st and 2nd, 49 and 50. These drivers will take special care to avoid moving the mobile, or permanent, cones or beacons.
The highway authorities may also enable lanes for use in the opposite direction to the usual, in agreement with the Jefatura Central de Tráfico (Central Traffic Headquarters) or, where appropriate, with the autonomous authority responsible for traffic, when carrying out road works on the highway, and in this case all types of roadworthy vehicles may use these lanes, unless expressly prohibited, under the same conditions established in the preceding paragraphs.
2. Drivers travelling in the direction opposite to that stipulated or in violation of the speed limits will be considered to be guilty of very serious infractions, in the first case, and serious or very serious infractions, as appropriate, in the case of excessive speed.
1. On roads with two-way traffic and hard shoulders, when the width of the road allows it, the traffic authorities may enable an additional lane of traffic to be used by vehicles in the centre of the road, in one of the directions of travel, by using provisional signalling and cones.
Enabling this additional lane of traffic means, by using both hard shoulders, having two lanes in one direction of travel and one in the other direction. In any case, this circumstance will be duly signalled. Vehicles travelling on the hard shoulders, and on said additional lane, will do so at a maximum speed of 80 kilometres per hour and a minimum of 60 kilometres per hour, or lower if so established or specifically signalled, and they must use at least dipped headlights or emergencylighting (hazard lights), both day and night, and should observe, as applicable, the rules contained in the previous article.
2. Drivers of vehicles travelling in the direction opposite to that stipulated or in violation of the speed limits will be considered to be guilty of very serious infractions, in the first case, and serious or very serious infractions, as appropriate, in the case of excessive speed.
1. When there are shelters, islands or guiding devices on the road, vehicles will pass on the right hand side of these, in the direction of travel, except when these are located on a one-way road or in the lane with a single direction of traffic, in which case they can be passed on either side.
2. On squares, roundabouts and intersections, vehicles will drive to the right of these constructions.
3. Drivers of vehicles moving in the opposite direction to that stipulated will be considered to have committed a very serious infraction, even if there are no shelters, islands or other traffic devices.
1. On roads divided into two directions, with a central divider, vehicles must use the lane furthest to the right.
2. On three-lane roads, the centre lane could be for use in both directions, or in only one direction, permanently or temporarily, according to the signage in place, and the lanes to the side are to be used in only one direction, unless the Jefatura Central de Tráfico (Central Traffic Headquarters) or, in each case, the autonomous or local authority responsible for traffic, establishes for these lanes or some of these lanes to be used in another direction, which would need to be appropriately marked.
Every driver is obliged to respect the established speed limits and additionally take into account, their own physical and mental conditions, the characteristics and condition of the road, the vehicle and its load, the meteorological, environmental and traffic conditions, and, in general, any circumstance that may occur at any time, in order to adapt the speed of their vehicle to them, so that you can always stop within the limits of your field of vision and any obstacle that may arise.
1. You are to drive at a moderate speed and, if necessary, stop the vehicle when circumstances demand it, especially in the following cases:
2. Infractions to these rules will be considered serious or very serious.
The road authority shall display, by means of corresponding signs, the specific speed limits that apply according to the characteristics of that section of the road. In the absence of any specific signs, the normal rules for that type of road will comply.
The autonomous body Central Traffic Headquarters or, where appropriate, the regional or local authority responsible for the regulation and control of traffic, when the traffic conditions require, may set speed limitations on a temporary basis with the corresponding signs or variable signalling.
1. The maximum speeds that must not be exceeded, except in the cases provided for in Article 51,
are the following:
|Passenger cars, motorcycles, motor homes with a maximum authorised mass of 3,500 kg or less, pick-ups||Trucks, tractors, vans, motor homes with a maximum authorised mass exceeding 3,500 kg, articulated vehicles, cars with trailers and other vehicles||Buses, vehicles derived from passenger cars and adaptable mixed vehicles|
|Motorways (Autopistas y autovías)||120||90||100|
1. On conventional roads with a physical separation between the two directions of traffic, the managers of the road may set a maximum limit of 100 kilometres per hour for cars, motorcycles and motor homes with maximum authorised mass equal to or less than 3,500 kg.
2. For three-wheeled vehicles assimilated to motorcycles, the same speed limits that are established for two-wheeled motorcycles apply.
b) For vehicles that performing school transport and carrying children or transporting dangerous goods, the maximum speed set in paragraph a) will be reduced by 10 kilometres per hour, depending on the type of vehicle and the road it is travelling.
In the event that a bus is carrying standing passengers, if authorised, or in the event that the bus is not equipped with a seat belt, the maximum permitted speed on conventional roads will be 80 kilometres per hour.
c) For special vehicles and vehicle assemblies, even if only one of the elements that make up the assembly is of such nature:
1. If they do not have braking signalling, they have a trailer or they are power tillers: 25 kilometres per hour.
2. The remaining special vehicles: 40 kilometres per hour, except when they can develop a speed higher than 60 kilometres per hour on level ground according to their characteristics, and meet the conditions indicated in the regulations governing vehicles; in this case, the maximum speed will be 70 kilometres per hour.
d) For vehicles under special transport, as indicated in annex III of this regulation.
e) For cycles, two and three wheeled mopeds and light quadricycles: 45 kilometres per hour. However, bicycle riders may exceed this maximum speed in those sections in which the circumstances of the road allows them to develop a higher speed.
f) On unpaved roads, the maximum speed limit will be 30 kilometres per hour.
g) Vehicles that, for reasons of testing or experimentation, have been granted a special permit for testing may exceed the maximum speed set at 30 kilometres per hour, but only within the fixed itinerary and in no case when they travel through urban roads, crossings or sections where there is specific signage that limits speed.
h) Three-wheeled and quadricycle vehicles on any type of road where their movement is allowed, the limit of 70 kilometres per hour applies.
2. Violations of the rules of this provision will be considered as serious or very serious, as appropriate for speeding, as provided in articles 76.a) and 77.a), both of the rewritten text of the Tráfico, Circulación de Vehículos a Motor y Seguridad Vial.
1. The normal driving of a vehicle must not be obstructed by a slow-moving vehicle driving at an abnormally reduced speed without a good reason. Thus travelling on motorways at a speed of less than 60 kilometres per hour is prohibited, and on other roads, it is not permitted to drive at a speed less than half of the general limit indicated for each category of vehicles in this chapter, even if no other vehicles are on the road.
2. It is permitted to drive below minimum speed limits in the cases of special vehicles and when the traffic circumstances dictate, a vehicle or road prevent maintaining a speed above the minimum, without risk to the movement of vehicles, as well as in cases to protect or accompany other vehicles for which the speed needs to be adapted to that of the accompanied vehicle.
In these cases, the escort vehicles must show V-21 or V-22 signs on the upper part, as applicable, as written in article 173.
3. When a vehicle cannot reach the minimum speed required and there is a danger, they must use their emergency hazard lights.
4. Violating these rules will be considered serious.
1.The maximum speed that vehicles must not exceed on urban roads and crossings is generally 50 kilometres per hour, except for vehicles that transport dangerous goods, which need to drive at a maximum of 40 kilometres per hour.
These limits may be reduced in particularly dangerous journeys by agreement of the municipal authority with the owner of the road, and on urban roads, by the decision of the relevant body of the local municipality.
Under the same conditions, the limits may be extended by the use of appropriate signs, on crossings and on motorways within the town, without exceeding at any time the general limits established for such roads outside the town. In the absence of signs, the maximum speed that vehicles should not exceed on motorways within an urban area will be 80 kilometres per hour.
Buses that carry standing passengers with authorisation may not exceed the maximum speed established in article 48.1.b) under the circumstances discussed in the previous paragraph.
2. Infractions to these norms will be considered as serious as detailed in article 65.4.c), unless they are considered as very serious.
1.The maximum speeds set for roads that do not run on urban land can only be exceeded by 20 kilometres per hour by cars and motorcycles when they overtake other vehicles travelling at a lower speed.
2. Infractions to these norms will be considered as serious as previously stated in article 65.4.c), unless they are considered very serious.
1. The following shall have their maximum speeds indicated in the previous articles managed:
2. In the cases included in paragraph b) of the previous section and in article 48.1.c) and d), it will be mandatory to carry, on the rear part of the vehicle, visible at all times, the speed limit signal referred to in Article 173.
3. Infractions will be considered serious or very serious, as appropriate for speeding, as provided in articles 65.4.c) and 65.5.e), both of the articulated text.
1. Except in the case of imminent danger, every driver, in order to be able to reduce the speed of their vehicle considerably, must make sure that they can do so without risk to other drivers and will be obliged to give a suitable warning in the manner provided in article 109, without having to do it abruptly, so that it does not produce a risk of collision with the vehicles that drive behind theirs.
2. Infractions will be considered as serious.
1. Every driver of a vehicle travelling behind another must leave between them a clear space that allows them to stop, in case of sudden braking, without colliding with the vehicle in front, taking into account especially the speed and grip conditions and braking. However, bicycle drivers will be allowed to ride in a group without maintaining such a separation, so long as they leave sufficient space to avoid crashing into each other.
2. In addition to the provisions of the previous section, the separation that must be kept by any vehicle driver that drives behind another without indicating its intention to overtake must be such as to allow another vehicle, in turn, to pass it safely, except in the case of cyclists who ride in a group. Vehicles with a maximum authorised mass exceeding 3,500 kilograms and vehicles and joined vehicles of more than 10 metres in total length must keep a minimum separation of 50 metres for this purpose.
3. The provisions of the previous section will not apply:
4. Infractions to the norms of this precept will be considered as serious.
1. Sporting event celebrations whose purpose is to compete in distance or time through roads or land subject to traffic legislation, traffic and road safety, as well as the performance rules of cycling or other events, will require prior authorisation which will be issued in accordance with the standards indicated in annex II of this regulation, which will control said activities.
2. It is forbidden to enter speed competitions on public roads or those for public use, unless, exceptionally, they have been permitted to be used for this purpose by the competent authority (article 20.5 of the articulated text).
3. Violations of the rules of this provision will be considered very serious, as provided in article 65.5.g) of the articulated text, without prejudice to measures adopted by the agents in charge of traffic surveillance to suspend, interrupt or dissolve unauthorised sports events.
1. At intersections preference is always shown by regulating signs.
2. Drivers of vehicles when approaching an intersection controlled by a traffic agent, must stop their vehicles when so ordered in accordance with Article 143.
3. All drivers of vehicles approaching an intersection controlled by traffic lights must act in accordance with regulations set out in Article 146.
4. Drivers of vehicles approaching an intersection with traffic priority signs or drivers of vehicles on roads indicating priority over other traffic will have priority over oncoming vehicles or those vehicles coming from another direction.
5. At intersections where a “give way” or “mandatory stop” sign is displayed, drivers will always give way to vehicles travelling on the principal road, regardless of the side from which they are approaching, stopping completely when necessary and always when indicated by the corresponding signs.
6. Infringement of rules relating to traffic priority will be considered as serious.
1. In the absence of signs indicating traffic priority, drivers are obliged to give way to vehicles approaching from the right, except in the following cases:
2. Infringement of rules relating to traffic priority will be considered as serious.
1. The driver of a vehicle which has to give way to another, must not start or continue to move or manoeuvre, nor restart, until it is certain that the driver of the vehicle with priority is not forced to abruptly change direction or speed and sufficient advance indication is given to the priority vehicle of concession including a gradual speed reduction.
2. Not withstanding the rules set out in this chapter which regulate traffic priority, rules provided in previous sections should also be taken into account where appropriate.
3. Infringement of rules relating to traffic priority will be considered serious as set out in Article 65.4.c of the articulated text.
1. Even when you have priority of passage, no driver should position the vehicle at an intersection, a pedestrian or cycle crossing if the traffic situation is such that it impedes or obstructs crossing traffic.
2. Any driver whose vehicle is stopped at an intersection regulated by traffic lights and whose position creates an obstacle to traffic, must leave the situation without waiting for passage in the direction which was intended, provided that doing so does not interfere with the progress of other users who advance in the permitted sense (article 24.3 of the articulated text).
3. Infringement of rules relating to intersections will be considered serious.
1. In sections of road where, due to narrowing, it is impossible or very difficult for two vehicles travelling in the opposite direction to pass simultaneously and where there is no express signalling to the effect, the first vehicle to enter the restricted section will have priority of passage. In case of doubt about this circumstance, the vehicle with the greatest manoeuvrability difficulty shall have preference, in accordance with definitions set out in article 62.
2. When road repair works are being carried out, vehicles, horses and all species of farm animals will pass through the designated areas.
3. Whenever it is possible to do so without danger or damage to work being carried out, passage through the section in repair will be allowed for police, fire service, civil protection and rescue and health care vehicles whether public or private, which are operating in an emergency situation and whose drivers indicate so by means of the use of corresponding signalling.
4. In all cases, any vehicle that approaches a road repair work section and finds another vehicle travelling in the same direction ahead, will be placed behind it, as close as possible to the edge of the right and will not try to pass but remain following.
5. In all the cases foreseen in this article, road users are obliged to follow the instructions of the personnel assigned to regulate the passage of vehicles.
6. Infractions to the norms of this precept will be considered as serious.
1. The order of preference for crossing bridges or road works whose width does not allow vehicles to pass each other will be carried out in accordance with the regulating signals.
2. In the case of two vehicles wishing to cross bridges or road works where a priority signal is placed, the vehicle which does not have priority must give way to the vehicle which does.
In the absence of signalling, the order of preference between the different types of vehicles shall be in accordance with the provisions of article 62.
3. Vehicles that need special authorisation to travel cannot cross over bridges if the width of the road is less than six metres, so that for each vehicle a track width of not less than three metres can be counted. In the event of a meeting or crossing between said vehicles, the provisions of the previous section shall apply.
4. Infractions to the norms of this precept will be considered as serious, as foreseen in article 65.4.c) of the articulated text.
1. Regardless of what a public official might order, or, as the case may be, what works staff might indicate, or those accompanying specialised vehicles or in specialised transport schemes, priority for different types of vehicles when one of them has to reverse is as follows:
Where vehicles are of the same type or not listed above, priority is determined in favour of the vehicle which has the greater distance to reverse, and if these are equal, the one with the greater width, length or maximum authorised weight.
2. Offences under the terms of these rules are considered serious.
1. On steep stretches of road, narrow as defined in article 60, the vehicle going uphill has priority, unless it can get to a designated passing place first. Where there is doubt about the steepness of the slope or the distance to the passing place, the provisions of article 62 will apply.
2. Offences under the terms of these rules are considered serious, pursuant to article 65.4 c).
Generally, if their route is blocked, drivers have priority over pedestrians and animals on roads and hard shoulders except in the cases detailed in articles 65 and 66, where they should let them through, stopping if necessary.
Cyclists have priority over motor vehicles:
In other cases the general rules concerning priority between vehicles apply.
1. Drivers have priority over pedestrians except in the following cases:
At a roundabout, a group of cyclists are treated as a single unit. That is to say that if the first cyclist in the group has entered the roundabout, the remaining group will now take priority, therefore traffic on the roundabout must now wait until they have all passed.
However, this rule is on the assumption that the first cyclist has already entered the roundabout. If the group are approaching a roundabout and see vehicles already on it, then they must give way to traffic already on the roundabout, in the same way as if they were a single cycle, or a car, for example.
It is only when the first cyclist in the group has already entered the roundabout that the rest can then follow.
2. When vehicles cross designated zones in pedestrian areas, drivers must give way to pedestrians.
3. They must also give way:
4. Offences under the terms of these rules are considered serious.
1. Drivers have priority over animals except in the following cases:
2. Animal tracks and cattle grids have signposts saying «cañada» (animal track), which are placed under the sign «Domestic Animals Crossing», with their layout perpendicular to the direction of traffic, and the right side, easily visible to drivers of vehicles affected.
These signposts must be accompanied by the corresponding speed limit signs.
3. Offences under the terms of these rules are considered serious, pursuant to article 65.4 c).
1. Public and private emergency services vehicles have priority over other vehicles and road users when they are engaged in service. They may exceed speed limits and do not have to comply with other rules or signs in the situations and with the conditions determined in this section (article 25).
2. Drivers of these emergency services vehicles will use this special regime judiciously and only when carrying out an emergency service, and will take care not to violate the priority at junctions or traffic lights without first taking the utmost precautions, until they are convinced that there is no risk of knocking down pedestrians and that drivers of other vehicles have stopped or are giving way to them.
3. The installation of light-emitting devices and special acoustic signals in emergency vehicles requires authorisation from the relevant Provincial Traffic Headquarters, pursuant to the regulations governing vehicles.
1. Drivers of priority vehicles must observe the principles of this regulation, although, provided they have ensured that they do not endanger any road user, they may fail to comply subject to this being at their own responsibility, except for the orders and signals of police officers, which are always mandatory.
The drivers of such vehicles may also, exceptionally, when they drive on a motorway or dualcarriageway on urgent service and do not endanger the safety of any user, turn around or reverse, or drive in the opposite direction to the traffic, provided they do so using the hard shoulder, or go over the central reservation or crossing sections of this.
The agents of the authority responsible for surveillance, regulation and control of traffic may use or locate their vehicles in the part of the road that is necessary when they provide assistance to the users of it or as required by the needs of the service or of the traffic. Likewise, they will determine in each specific case the places where emergency services vehicles or other special services should be positioned.
2. Vehicles of the police, fire fighting, public safety and rescue services, and of health care, public or private, that travel on urgent service and whose drivers warn of their presence by means of the simultaneous use of the illuminated signal, to which article 173 refers, and of equipment that emits special acoustic signals, to which the regulations refer, will have the status of priority vehicles.
As an exception to the provisions of the previous paragraph, drivers of priority vehicles must use the light signal on its own when the omission of the special acoustic signals does not entail any danger to other users.
3. Breaches of the regulations of this rule will be considered as serious.
As soon as they notice the special signals that notify the proximity of a priority vehicle, other drivers will adopt the appropriate measures, according to the circumstances of the time and place, to facilitate their passage, normally moving to their right or stopping if necessary.
When a police vehicle that shows its presence in accordance with the provisions of article 68.2 is located behind any other vehicle and also activates a device for emitting red lights in an intermittent or flashing way, the driver of the other vehicle must stop on the right-hand side, with the necessary precautions, in front of the police vehicle, in a place where he will not create significant risk or inconvenience for other road users, and will remain inside their vehicle. At all times the driver will adjust their behaviour to the instructions given by the police officer through the public address system or by any other means that may be clearly perceived by the former.
1. If, as a result of particularly serious circumstances, the driver of a non-priority vehicle is forced, being unable to resort to any other means, to perform a service normally reserved for priority users, they will ensure that other users are warned of the special situation in which they are driving, using the horn intermittently and activating the hazard lights, if available, or by shaking a handkerchief or similar cloth from the window.
2. The drivers referred to in the previous section must respect traffic regulations, especially at intersections, and other road users will comply with the provisions of Article 69.
3. At any time, police officers may require justification of the circumstances referred to in paragraph 1.
4. Breaches of the regulations of this rule will be considered as serious.
1. The traffic regulations will be those established in annex III of this regulation, in addition to the general rules that apply to them.
Special vehicles can only use the roads subject of traffic legislation to travel, not being able to carry out the tasks for which they are intended based on their technical characteristics, with the exception of those that carry out construction, repair or maintenance work on the roads exclusively
in the areas where said works are carried out and those specifically designed to tow damaged, broken down or badly parked vehicles. Nor can special vehicles transport any cargo, except for those specifically intended to provide special transport services, for which they must provide the
Drivers of special vehicles and, exceptionally, those who are not, used for construction, repair or maintenance of roads, are not required to observe the traffic regulations, provided that they are performing such work in the area where they are carried out, and they take the necessary precautions and the traffic is suitably controlled.
2. During the work, drivers of vehicles intended for works or services will use the V-2 light signal:
3. Whilst driving, drivers of special vehicles or special transport must use the said illuminated signal both day and night, as long as they drive on public roads at a speed not exceeding 40 kilometres per hour. In case of failure of this signal, dipped-beam headlamps must be used together with hazard lights.
4. Breaches of the rules regarding the obligation to have installed in the vehicle the luminous signalling will be penalised in accordance with that set out in article 67.2 of the stated text.
1. The driver of a vehicle stopped or parked on a road or coming from the access roads to it, its service areas or an adjacent property, who intends to join the traffic flow, must first make sure, even following the signals of another person, if necessary, who can do so without danger to other users, giving way to other vehicles and taking into account the position, course and speed of these, and will advise that with the obligatory signals for these cases. If the road you are entering has an acceleration lane, the driver who joins that road will make sure to do so with speed suitable to the road.
2. Whenever a driver leaves a public road onto an exclusively private road, they must first make sure that they can do it without danger to anyone and carry it out at a speed that allows them to stop immediately, giving way to vehicles that are travelling on it, whatever the direction in which they are doing it.
3. A driver who joins traffic will use indicators to notify the manoeuvre in the manner provided in article 109.
4. On roads provided with an acceleration lane, the driver of a vehicle that intends to use it to enter the road must ensure, at the beginning of said lane, that they can do so without danger to other users passing through said road, taking into account the position, course and speed of these, and even stopping, if necessary. They will then accelerate until reaching the appropriate speed at the end of the acceleration lane to join the traffic on the road.
5. Instances of joining traffic without giving way to other vehicles will be considered serious infractions, as provided in article 65.4.c) of the stated text.
1. Irrespective of the obligation of drivers of vehicles that enter the traffic to comply with the requirements of the previous article, these other drivers shall facilitate, as far as possible, this manoeuvre, especially when it concerns a collective passenger transport vehicle that wants to enter the traffic from a signed stop (article 27 of the articulated text).
2. In populated areas, in order to facilitate the movement of collective passenger transport vehicles, drivers of other vehicles must move sideways, whenever possible, or reduce their speed, in compliance with the provisions of article 53, coming to a stop, if necessary, so that the collective passenger transport vehicles can carry out the necessary manoeuvre to continue their progress from the exit of the stops marked as such.
3. The provisions of the previous section do not change the obligation of drivers of collective passenger transport vehicles to adopt the necessary precautions to avoid any risk of a collision, after having notified by means of their direction indicators their intention to resume progress.
1. The driver of a vehicle that intends to turn to the right or to the left to use a road other than the one being driven on in order to take another lane on the same road or to leave it, must warn other drivers in advance and give them notice. Drivers must make sure that the vehicles behind them have time to change their speed and that the distance of the vehicles that are coming in the opposite direction is safe, allowing them to carry out the manoeuvre without any danger, refraining to do so if these circumstances do not occur. The driver should also refrain from carrying out any manoeuvre when they wish to turn left and they don’t have good visibility. (article 28.1 of the articulated text).
2. Any manoeuvre regarding a sideways turn that involves a lane change must be carried out giving priority to the vehicle who is occupying the lane that the driver wishes to join. (article 28.2 of the articulated text).
3. Infringements of the rules of these requirements will be considered a serious matter, as foreseen in article 65.4.c) of the articulated text.
1. To carry out the manoeuvre, the driver should:
2. Infringements of the rules of these requirements will be considered a serious matter, as foreseen in article 65.4.c) of the articulated text.
1. As an exception, if it is not possible to change direction strictly according to the description in the previous article due to the size of the vehicle or other justifying circumstances, the driver must take the necessary precautions to avoid any danger whilst carrying out the manoeuvre.
2. On interurban roads, if there is no lane specially conditioned for left turns, cycles and twowheeled mopeds should situate themselves to the right, off the road whenever possible.
3. Infringements of the rules of these requirements will be considered a serious matter, as foreseen in article 65.4.c) of the articulated text.
To leave a motorway, carriageway or any other road, drivers must give plenty of notice by driving in the lane closest to the exit for a good amount of time, and enter the deceleration lane as soon as possible, if there is one.
1. The driver of a vehicle that intends to change its direction must choose a suitable place to perform the manoeuvre, so that the road is intercepted in as little time as possible. The driver also must make their intentions known by giving the right signs with plenty of notice, and ensure that no other road users will be endangered or hindered. If this is not the case, they must refrain from performing this manoeuvre and wait for the opportune moment to carry it out. If, while waiting to change direction, the driver is blocking the road and preventing vehicles from moving behind them, they must move towards the right, if possible, until the driving conditions allow them to continue (article 29 of the articulated text).
2. The signals that the driver of the vehicle must use warn their intention to change direction are those provided in article 109.
3. Infringements of the rules of these requirements will be considered a serious matter, as foreseen in the article 65.4.c) of the articulated text.
1. It is forbidden to change direction in any situation that prevents verification of the circumstances referred to in the previous article, at level crossings, in tunnels, underpasses and track sections affected by the signal “Tunnel” (S- 5), as well as on motorways and carriageways, except in the places designated for this purpose and, in general, in all sections of the road where overtaking is prohibited, unless changing direction is expressly authorised (Article 30 of the articulated text).
2. Infringements of the rules of these requirements will be considered a serious matter, as foreseen in article 65.4.c) of the articulated text.
1. It is forbidden to travel backwards, except in cases where it is not possible to go forward or change the direction of travel, and if this is done, this must be carried out in the shortest length possible (article 31.1 of the articulated text).
2. The backwards route, as a complementary manoeuvre to stopping, must ensure that the parking or movement cannot be more than 15 metres or invade a crossroads.
3. The reversing manoeuvre on motorways is prohibited (article 31.3 of the articulated text).
4. Infringements of the rules of these requirements, when they comprise of the driver moving in the direction contrary to the stipulated route, will be taken very seriously, as foreseen in article 65.5.f) of the articulated text.
1. The reversing manoeuvre should be carried out slowly, and only after having warned other drivers using the mandatory signals and having made sure that they will not prove a danger for the other road users according to the conditions of visibility, space and time needed to carry it out, even if the driver has to leave their vehicle or follow the instructions of another person, if necessary. (article 31.2 of the articulated text).
2. The driver of a vehicle that intends to drive backwards must warn of its purpose in the manner provided in article 109.
3. Likewise, the manoeuvre must be performed with the utmost caution and the vehicle should be stopped quickly if any warning signs are heard. The driver must be aware of the proximity of another vehicle or a person or animal, or when they should stop for safety reasons.
1. On all roads subject to traffic legislation, motor vehicle traffic and road safety, as a general rule, overtaking must be carried out on the left of the vehicle to be passed (article 32.1 of the articulated text).
2. By exception, and if there is enough space to do so, overtaking can be done on the right by taking the utmost precautions, when the driver of the vehicle to be overtaken is clearly indicating their intention to change direction to the left or stop on that side, on roads with vehicles moving in both directions, as well as with trams that cross the central zone (article 32.2 of the articulated text).
3. Within populated areas, on roads that have at least two lanes reserved for traffic in the same direction of travel, separated by longitudinal marks, overtaking is allowed on the right-hand side provided that the driver of the vehicle that makes the manoeuvre is sure beforehand that they can do it without endangering others.
4. In all cases in which overtaking involves a sideways movement, the driver must warn before making the manoeuvre by means of the corresponding optical signal referred to in article 109.
5. Infringements of the rules of these requirements will be considered a serious matter, as foreseen in article 65.4.c) of the articulated text. Please note that the reference to article 65.4.c) must be understood as made to article 65.4.a), as established in the third final provision of this Regulation, introduced by section ten of the single article of the R.D. 965/2006, of September 1, by which the General Regulation of Circulation is modified, approved by R.D. 1428/2003, of November 21 (“B.O.E.” September 5).
1. On roads that have at least two lanes reserved for traffic in the direction of their movement, the driver who is going to overtake may remain in the lane that they have used for the previous move, provided they are sure that they can do it within enough time so as not to cause a hindrance for the drivers of vehicles behind them.
2. When the movement of vehicles is so densely spaced that the vehicles occupy the entire width of the road and can only move at a speed that depends on the one that precedes them in its lane, the fact that those in a lane move more quickly that those of another will not be considered as overtaking.
In this situation, no driver must change lanes to overtake or perform any other manoeuvre other than preparing to turn left or right, exit the road or choose a certain direction.
3. In any stretch of road where there are acceleration or deceleration lanes or parts of the road intended exclusively for the traffic of certain vehicles, it will not be considered overtaking if the vehicle moves more quickly than those in normal traffic lanes, or vice versa.
4. Infringements of the rules of these requirements will be considered a serious matter, as foreseen in the article 65.4.c) of the articulated text. Bear in mind that the reference to the article 65.4.c) must be understood made to the article 65.4.a), as established in the third final provision of this Regulation, introduced by section ten of the single article of the RD 965/2006, of September 1, by which the General Regulation of Circulation is modified, approved by R.D. 1428/2003, of November 21 (“B.O.E.” September 5).
1. Before starting to overtake another vehicle in a movement that requires the driver to move sideways, the driver who intends to overtake must warn others in advance with the mandatory signals and check that there is enough free space in the lane they intend to use for overtaking for the manoeuvre to not endanger or obstruct those who are moving in the opposite direction, taking into account their own speed and that of the other affected users. Otherwise, they must refrain from doing it (article 33.1 of the articulated text).
No driver should overtake several vehicles if they are not completely certain that, when another vehicle is coming in the opposite direction, they may deviate to the right side without causing damage or putting any of the vehicles ahead in danger.
On roads with a double direction of traffic and three lanes separated by discontinuous longitudinal marks, overtaking can only be carried out when the drivers travelling in the opposite direction have not occupied the central lane to overtake in turn.
2. The driver must also make sure that the driver of the preceding vehicle in the same lane has not indicated its purpose of travelling to the same side; in this case, preference must be respected. However, if after a reasonable time the driver of the aforementioned vehicle does not exercise their priority, the overtaking manoeuvre may be initiated, warning them previously with acoustic or optical signal (article 33.2 of the articulated text).
It is prohibited, in any case, to overtake vehicles that are already overtaking another if the driver of the third vehicle has to invade the part of the road reserved for traffic in the opposite direction.
3. Likewise, the driver must ensure that no driver who follows them in the same lane has started the manoeuvre to overtake their vehicle, and that they have enough space to return to their lane when they have finished overtaking (article 33.3 of the articulated text).
4. The mandatory signals that the driver must use before starting their lateral movement will be those prescribed in article 109.
5. For the purposes of this article, cyclists travelling in groups do not apply to the theory of overtaking (article 33.4 of the articulated text).
6. Infringements of the rules of these requirements will be considered a serious matter, as foreseen in article 65.4.c) of the articulated text. Please note that the reference to article 65.4.c) must be understood as made to article 65.4.a), as established in the third final provision of this Regulation, introduced by section ten of the single article of the R.D. 965/2006, of September 1, by which the General Regulation of Circulation is modified, approved by R.D. 1428/2003, of November 21 (“B.O.E.” September 5).
1. When overtaking, the driver who carries it out must drive their vehicle at a speed notably superior to that of the one they intend to overtake and leave enough space to the side between them to carry it out safely (article 34.1 of the articulated text).
2. If, after starting the overtaking manoeuvre, they notice that there are circumstances that may make it difficult to finish without risk, they should quickly reduce their speed, return to their lane and warn those who follow them with the mandatory signals (article 34.2 of the articulated text).
3. The driver of the overtaking vehicle must return to their lane as soon as possible and gradually, without forcing other users to change their trajectory or speed, and warn them through the mandatory signals (article 34.3 of the articulated text).
4. When referring to pedestrians, animals, two-wheeled vehicles or animal-drawn vehicles, the manoeuvre must be performed occupying part or all of the adjacent lane of the roadway, provided that there are precise conditions to carry out the overtaking as foreseen in this regulation; in any case, the lateral separation should be no less than 1.50 metres. It is expressly forbidden to overtake when endangering or hindering cyclists travelling in the opposite direction.
When overtaking any vehicle other than those referred to in the previous paragraph, or if it takes place in a populated zone, the driver of the vehicle to be overtaken will leave a lateral margin of safety proportional to the speed and width and characteristics of the road.
5. The driver of a two-wheeled vehicle that intends to move from one place to another must do so leaving a space of over 1.50 metres between themselves and the outermost parts of another vehicle.
6. Infringements of the rules of these requirements will be considered a serious matter, as it is foreseen in the article 65.4.c) of the articulated text. Bear in mind that the reference to the article 65.4.c) must be understood made to the article 65.4.a ), as established in the third final provision of this Regulation, introduced by section ten of the single article of the RD 965/2006, of September 1, by which the General Regulation of Circulation is modified, approved by R.D. 1428/2003, of November 21 (“B.O.E.” September 5).
1. Any driver who notices that they are being followed for the purpose of being overtaken will be obliged to stick to the right side of the road, except in the cases of turns or changes of direction on the left or stopping on that same side referred to in article 82.2, in which case they should stick to the left as much as possible, but without interfering with the movement of vehicles that may move in the opposite direction (article 35.1 of the articulated text).
In the event that it is not possible to completely adhere to the right edge of the road and overtaking can still be done safely, the driver of any of the vehicles referred to in paragraph 3 that will be overtaken will indicate the possibility of doing so to the vehicle that is approaching by extending their arm horizontally and moving it repeatedly backward and forward, with the back of the hand backward, or putting on the right flasher, when it is not convenient to make the signal with their arm.
2. The driver of the vehicle to be overtaken is prohibited from increasing their speed or performing manoeuvres that prevent or hinder overtaking.
They will also be obliged to reduce the speed of their vehicle when, once the overtaking manoeuvre has begun, there is a situation that entails danger to their own vehicle, to the vehicle that is overtaking, to those travelling in the opposite direction or to any other user of the road (article 35.2 of the articulated text).
Notwithstanding the conditions of the previous paragraph, when the vehicle who wishes to overtake gives explicit signs of desisting from the manoeuvre by reducing their speed, the driver of the vehicle that was intended to be overtaken will not be obliged to reduce speed, if this endangers the safety of traffic, although they will be obliged to facilitate the driver who wants to overtake to return to their lane.
3. Drivers of heavy vehicles of large dimensions or vehicles that are obliged to follow a specific speed limit must either slow down or leave to the hard shoulder as soon as they can. This must be done if it is practical to make way for those who are behind them, when the density of the traffic in the opposite direction, the insufficient width of the road, its profile or state do not allow overtaking easily and without danger.
4. Infringements of the rules of these requirements will be considered a serious matter, as provided in article 65.4.c) of the articulated text. Note that the reference to article 65.4.c) must be understood made to article 65.4.a), as established in the third final provision of this Regulation, introduced by section ten of the single article of the R.D. 965/2006,from September 1, which modifies the General Circulation Regulations, approved by R.D. 1428/2003, of November 21 (“B.O.E.” September 5).
1. It is forbidden to overtake:
In accordance with the conditions of the previous paragraph, it is specifically prohibited to overtake from behind a vehicle that is performing the same manoeuvre, when the dimensions of the vehicle that carries it out first prevents visibility of the front part of the road to the driver of the vehicle that follows it.
2. Infringements of the rules of these requirements will be considered a serious matter, as provided in article 65.4.c) of the articulated text. Note that the reference to article 65.4.c) should be understood as referring to article 65.4.a), as established in the third final provision of this Regulation, introduced by section ten of the single article of the R.D. 965/2006, of September 1, by which the General Regulation of Circulation is modified, approved by R.D. 1428/2003, of November 21 (“B.O.E.” September 5).
1. On a stretch of road where overtaking is prohibited, if a vehicle that becomes immobilised is completely or partly occupying the road in the direction of travel, unless the immobilisation is imposed by the needs of the traffic, it may be passed, even though to do so it is necessary to occupy the part of the road reserved for the opposite direction, after making sure that the manoeuvre can be carried out safely. With the same requirements, drivers of bicycles, cycles, mopeds, pedestrians, animals and animal-drawn vehicles can be overtaken when, due to the speed they move at, they can be overtaken without risk to them or to general movement.
As a general rule overtaking in a continuous line is forbidden, but the exception to the rule says that it can be done when we pass the drivers of bicycles, cycles, mopeds, pedestrians, animals and animal-drawn vehicles.
The overtaking of heavy machinery is not allowed in this way.
Many drivers think that the service vehicles that drive along the hard shoulder at a reduced speed, can be overtaken in a section where there is a continuous line. But due to their large dimensions they occupy part of the carriageway so overtaking them would mean we have to occupy practically the opposite lane to overtake them safely, which is why overtaking like this is forbidden.
2. Infringements of the rules of these requirements will be considered a serious matter, as foreseen in article 65.4.c) of the articulated text. Note that the reference to article 65.4.c) should be understood as referring to article 65.4.a), as established in the third final provision of this Regulation, introduced by section ten of the single article of the R.D. 965/2006, of September 1, by which the General Regulation of Circulation is modified, approved by R.D. 1428/2003, of November 21 (“B.O.E.” September 5).
1. Likewise, in the circumstances indicated in the previous article, any vehicle that finds any obstacle in their way that forces them to occupy the space provided for the opposite direction of its movement may overtake, provided that they have made sure that they can do it safely. The same precaution will be observed when the obstacle or the immobilised vehicle is in a section of road where overtaking is allowed.
Speed reducing bands are not obstacles in the road, they are an element of road safety, they are installed to reduce the speed in sections where it is necessary for different reasons; a high number of incidents, abuses, school zone, etc. These bands should not be driven around or avoided in any way, so you should reduce your speed and pass over them at a speed that allows you to do it safely.
2. Infringements of the rules of these requirements will be considered a serious matter, as foreseen in article 65.4.d) of the articulated text. Note that the reference to article 65.4.c) should be understood as referring to article 65.4.a), as established in the third final provision of this Regulation, introduced by section ten of the single article of the R.D. 965/2006, of September 1, by which the General Regulation of Circulation is modified, approved by R.D. 1428/2003, of November 21 (“B.O.E.” September 5).
A “Stop” is the immobilisation of the vehicle for less than two minutes, without the driver leaving the vehicle. The moment the driver gets out of the vehicle, even leaving another person inside, it is considered “parked”.
We must take into account the difference between stopping and parking because in some areas we will find that parking is prohibited but not stopping, as long as we do it following these instructions.
1. The stopping or parking of a vehicle on interurban roads must always be made outside the road, on the right side of it and leaving free the walkable part of the hard shoulder (article 38.1 of the articulated text).
When, in an emergency, it is not possible to locate the vehicle outside the road and the passable part of the hard shoulder, the rules contained in the following articles of this chapter and those provided in article 130, as applicable, shall be observed.
2. When on urban roads it has to be done on the road or on the hard shoulder, the vehicle will be located as close as possible to its right side, except on one way roads, where parking can also be done on the left side (article 38.2 of the articulated text).
Remember that if the street is two-way, you cannot stop or park on the left side, since you would be doing it in the opposite direction of the vehicles.
The ordinances issued by the municipal authorities in accordance with the conditions of Article 93 must also be observed.
1. Stopping and parking must be carried out in such a way that the vehicle does not obstruct traffic or constitute a risk to other road users, especially taking care of the vehicle’s positioning and preventing it from moving when the driver is absent. (Article 38.3 of the articulated text).
Special attention with parking large vehicles on corners or crossings as they hinder visibility to drivers who want to join or cross the road. It is usually the case to find vans or caravans parked in places that even though it is not forbidden to park there, due to their size they limit visibility creating risky situations to other drivers as they cannot see. In these cases even though these vehicles are allowed to park they should look for another parking spot.
2. The following are considered to be a risk or obstacle to traffic when stopping or parking is done in a dangerous place or in a place that seriously impedes traffic:
3. The attempts to stop or park in dangerous places or that seriously impede the movement are considered as serious infringements, as foreseen in article 65.4.d) of the articulated text.
Note that the reference to article 65.4.c) should be understood as referring to article 65.4.a), as established in the third final provision of this Regulation, introduced by section ten of the single article of the R.D. 965/2006, of September 1, by which the General Regulation of Circulation is modified, approved by R.D. 1428/2003, of November 21 (“B.O.E.” September 5).
1. Stopping and parking should be carried out by placing the vehicle parallel to the edge of the road. By exception, another placement will be allowed when the characteristics of the road or other circumstances allow.
2. All drivers who stop or park their vehicle must do so in a way that allows the best use of the remaining available space.
Only one parking space should be occupied. Failure to do so may result in a penalty
for minor infringement.
3. In the case of a motor vehicle or moped, if the driver has to leave their vehicle, they must also follow, as soon as they are applicable, the following rules:
1. The stop-and-park system on urban roads shall be regulated by municipal ordinance, and the necessary measures may be taken to avoid traffic jams, including parking time limitations, as well as the precise corrective measures, including the withdrawal of the vehicle or its immobilisation when it is not provided with a title that enables parking in areas limited in time or exceeding the authorisation granted until the identification of the driver is achieved (article 38.4 of the articulated text).
When we talk about “parking time limitations”, we are talking about the “blue zone”; areas where parking is only allowed for a limited time, after payment of a fee in one of the parking metres installed on the street.
Once the amount has been paid, we must display the parking ticket in a visible place on the dashboard. It will be cause for immobilisation and even taking the vehicle away, if you either fail to display the ticket, or exceed the authorised time without having renewed the ticket.
Once the driver is identified, they will be sanctioned, having to pay the town truck and deposit expenses in case the vehicle is moved to the municipal pound until the driver is identified.
2. In no case may the municipal ordinances oppose, alter, distort or induce confusion with the precepts of this regulation.
1. It is prohibited to stop:
2. It is prohibited to park in the following cases:
3. Stopping or parking in the places listed in paragraphs a), d), e), f), g) and i) of section 1, in the level crossings and in the lanes designated for the use of urban public transport will have the consideration of serious infractions, as foreseen in article 65.4.d) of the articulated text.
Note that the reference to article 65.4.c) should be understood as referring to article 65.4.a), as established in the third final provision of this Regulation, introduced by section ten of the single article of the R.D. 965/2006, of September 1, by which the General Regulation of Circulation is modified, approved by R.D. 1428/2003, of November 21 (“B.O.E.” September 5).
1. All drivers must exercise caution and reduce speed below the maximum when approaching a level crossing or a moveable bridge (article 40.1 of the articulated text).
2. Users who find level crossings or moveable bridges closed or with the barrier or semi-barrier in motion when approaching should stop one after the other in the corresponding lane until they can pass (article 40.2 of the articulated text).
3. The crossing of railways must be carried out without delay and after having ascertained that, due to the circumstances of traffic or for other reasons that there is no risk of getting stuck within the passage (article 40.3 of the articulated text).
4. When using level crossings and moveable bridges, drivers must use the appropriate signage in the manner provided in articles 144, 146 and 149.
5. Tunnels of any length and underpasses whose length exceeds 200 metres will be duly indicated.
6. In tunnels or underpasses, the driver must rigorously apply all the traffic rules related to them contained in this regulation and especially those related to the prohibition to stop, park, change the direction of movement, reverse and overtake. In addition, drivers must use the correct illumination.
When the driver does not intend to overtake, a safe distance must be maintained at all times with the preceding vehicle of at least 100 metres or a minimum interval of four seconds. In the case of vehicles with a maximum authorised mass of more than 3,500 kilograms, the safe distance that must be kept with the preceding vehicle should be at least 150 metres or a minimum safety interval of six seconds.
In tunnels or underpasses with traffic in both directions, overtaking is prohibited, unless there is more than one lane in the direction of movement, which can be overtaken without invading the opposite direction.
7. At all times, drivers and users travelling through a tunnel or underpass must obey the indications of traffic lights and variable message panels, and follow the instructions that they receive through public address systems or any other means.
1. No road user should enter a level crossing whose barriers or semi-barriers are traversed on the road or in a raising or crossing motion, or when their traffic lights impede the passage with their stopping directions.
2. No road user should enter a level crossing without barriers, semi-barriers or traffic lights, without first having ascertained that no vehicle travelling on the rails is approaching.
3. No user should enter a tunnel or underpass if a traffic light does not allow the passage in the mouth of the tunnel, with the exception of the teams of emergency services, mechanical assistance and road maintenance.
1.When, for reasons of out of control of the driver, there is a vehicle that has been stopped in a level crossing or its load has fallen within it, the driver will be obliged to adopt the appropriate measures for the rapid eviction of the occupants of the vehicle and leave the way free in the shortest possible time. If they do not manage to do this, all measures must be taken by the drivers of surrounding cars to warn of the danger in advance (article 41 of the articled text).
2. The rules in the previous section will be applicable, if the same circumstances occur when the stopping of the vehicle or the shedding of its load takes place on a moveable bridge.
3. If, in an emergency, a driver is immobilised with their vehicle inside a tunnel or underpass, they must:
In case of a fire, the driver will move their vehicle as far as possible to the right so as not to obstruct the passage to emergency vehicles. The engine must be turned off, the key left in and the doors open. Both the driver and the other occupants will leave the vehicle heading quickly to the nearest refuge or exit, in the opposite direction of the fire, without, in any case, crossing the road if there are areas excluded from the movement of vehicles.
If a vehicle is immobilised inside a tunnel or underpass due to traffic needs, the driver and passengers must not leave the vehicle. In this case, the emergency signal must be connected temporarily to warn other drivers who are driving behind, parking lights kept on and the engine turned off. The driver should stop as far as possible from the vehicle in front of them.
1. All vehicles travelling between sunset and sunrise or at any time of day in tunnels, underpasses and track sections affected by the “Tunnel” signal (S-5) must have the corresponding lighting switched on, according to what is determined in this section.
When the vehicle is started up and the “daytime running light” device is turned on, the vehicle’s control panel sometimes illuminates, which is why many drivers mistakenly think that the car’s lights were automatically switched on. Then they put it into drive thinking that they have lights on and the reality is that, as DRL´s often only illuminate at the front of the vehicle, they are driving without any rear lights and only with the daytime lights on the front.
Something that sometimes happens when tourists arrive in Spain at night is that they rent a car with these characteristics, but do not know how it works and when they hit the road they do not realise that they are driving without the correct lights, creating dangerous situations.
Please, if you are going to drive a car that is not yours, find out how it works. You must know how to correctly use the vehicle’s dashboard before going on the road. Many drivers suddenly enter a tunnel and then start looking how to turn on the lights, endangering other road users.
Lights must be switched on before entering the tunnel and if you do not know how the control panel works, you will have problems doing this and will endanger other road users. Please take a few minutes to know the car that you have purchased or are using so as to enjoy your trip safely.
You will be fined for driving without any type of light if you only have “daytime running lights” or sidelights illuminated.
2. The regulation of lighting systems that are not prohibited, or in everything that is not expressly provided for in this chapter or in other precepts of this regulation, shall be adjusted to the provisions of the regulations governing vehicles.
3. Bicycles, in addition, should be equipped with the reflective elements that, duly approved, are determined in the General Vehicle Regulations. When the use of lighting is mandatory, bicycle riders must also wear a reflective garment that allows drivers and other users to distinguish them at a distance of 150 metres, if they travel by interurban route.
In addition, when the use of lighting is mandatory, bicycle riders will wear some garment or reflective element that allows other road users to distinguish them at 150 metres.
1. Any vehicle travelling between sunset and sunrise or under the conditions referred to in article 106 and in passing through tunnels, underpasses or sections of roads affected by the signal “Tunnel” (S-5) must have headlights on and, if the width of the vehicle exceeds 2.10 metres, also height lighting.
2. Driving without lighting in situations of reduced visibility shall be considered a serious infringement, as explained in article 65.4.e) of the articulated text.
1. Any vehicle equipped with long-range or road lighting that travels at more than 40 kilometres per hour, between sunset and sunrise, out of town, through under-lit roads or at any time of day through tunnels, underpasses and sections of track affected by the signal “Tunnel” (S-5) which are insufficiently illuminated, should have their headlights on, except when the headlights or full beam are used, in accordance with the provisions of articles 101 and 102, especially to avoid glare.
The long range or full beam lights can be used alone or for short distances.
2. It is forbidden to use the long-range or full beam lights whenever the vehicle is stationary or parked, as well as the alternative use, in the form of flashes of long-range or full beam headlights, for purposes different from those foreseen in this regulation.
3. The under-lit road is understood to be one in which, with a normal view, at some point of its roadway, the registration plate can’t be read at 10 metres or a darkly coloured vehicle can’t be distinguished from 50 metres.
4. Movement in which glare occurs to other users of the road and traffic without lighting in situations of lack or reduction of visibility shall be considered serious infringements, as provided in article 65.4.e) of the articulated text.
1. All motor vehicles and mopeds that are driving between sunset and sunrise on urban or interurban roads that are illuminated, or at any time of the day through tunnels, underpasses and sections of roads affected by the signal “Tunnel” (S-) 5) which are sufficiently illuminated, should have headlights on, in addition to side or position lighting, or full beam if used.
Likewise, you must use headlights in the villages, when the road is insufficiently illuminated.
2. All motor vehicles and mopeds must have short-range or headlights on when driving between sunset and sunrise on insufficiently lit interurban roads or at any time of day through tunnels, underpasses and other insufficiently lit sections affected by the “Tunnel” signal when any of the following circumstances occur:
1. Long-range or full beam lighting must be replaced by short-range or normal headlights as soon as the possibility of producing glare for other users of the same route or of any other means of communication is detected, and especially to the drivers of vehicles travelling in the opposite direction and even if they do not comply with this requirement, and the road lighting will not be restored until the position of the vehicle has passed.
2. The same precaution will be observed with respect to vehicles that drive in the same direction and whose drivers can be dazzled through the rear-view mirror.
3. In case of you being a driver who suffers glare, you will reduce speed as necessary, even coming to a total stop, to avoid reaching other vehicles or pedestrians that are moving in the same direction.
4. Infringements of the rules of these requirements will be considered a serious matter as foreseen in article 65.4.e) of the articulated text.
All vehicles described in articles 99 or 106 must always have their rear number plate illuminated and, if applicable, other illuminated signs or badges that must be provided, taking into account their characteristics or the service they provide.
Short-range light or headlights should be used during the day when:
1. Any vehicle that, for any reason, is immobilised between sunset and sunrise or under the conditions referred to in article 106, on a road or hard shoulder of a road, must have the position lights on and, for those vehicles which qualify, height lighting.
2. Any vehicle stopped or parked between sunset and sunrise on the roadway or hard shoulder of an under-lit crossing must have the position lights on, which may be replaced by the parking lights, or by the two position lights of the corresponding side of the road, when it is parked in line.
3. On urban roads that are not “travesías”, it will not be mandatory for parked vehicles to have the position lights on when the lighting allows other users to distinguish them at a sufficient distance.
4. The immobilisation, stopping or parking of a vehicle without lighting in situations of lack or reduced visibility will be considered serious infringements, as foreseen in article 65.4.e) of the articulated text.
1. It is also mandatory to use lighting when there are weather or environmental conditions that significantly reduce visibility, such as in the case of fog, heavy rain, snow, clouds of smoke or dust or any other analogous circumstance (article 43 of the articulated text).
2. In the cases referred to in the previous section, the front fog lights or the short or long-range headlights must be used.
The front fog lamp can be used alone or simultaneously with the short-range headlights or even with the long-range full beam headlights.
The front fog lamp can only be used in such cases or in sections of narrow roads with many curves, meaning that, having a roadway of 6.50 metres wide or less, are marked with signs indicating a succession of nearby curves among themselves, regulated in article 149.
The rear fog lamp should only be switched on when the weather or environmental conditions are particularly unfavourable, such as in heavy fog, heavy rain, heavy snow or heavy clouds of dust or smoke.
3. Driving without lights in situations with no or reduced visibility will be considered a serious infringement, as foreseen in article 65.4.e) of the articulated text.
If, due to non-use or irreparable damage in the corresponding lighting, the driver is forced to drive with lower intensity lighting, they should reduce their speed until the vehicle can be stopped in an illuminated area.
1. Drivers are obliged to warn other road users about the manoeuvres that they intend to carry out with their vehicles (article 44.1 of the articulated text).
2. As a general rule, these warnings will be made using the vehicle’s indicators or, failing that, with the arm (article 44.2 of the articulated text).
The validity of those carried out with the arm will be subordinated to the fact that they are perceptible by the other road users and are carried out in accordance with the provisions of the following article, and will annul any other optical indication that contradicts them.
1. The driver must warn by means of visible signals any manoeuvre that involves a lateral or rearward movement of their vehicle, as well as their intention to stop or slow down its progress considerably. Such optical warnings shall be made sufficiently in advance of the initiation of the manoeuvre, and, if they are lights, they shall remain in operation until the end of the manoeuvre.
2. For the purposes of the previous section, the following should also be taken into account:
In manoeuvres involving a sideways movement, it is this which is exclusively warned, so the warning must conclude as soon as the vehicle has adopted its new trajectory.
When a vehicle is immobilised on a motorway, or in places or circumstances that significantly reduce visibility, the presence of the vehicle must be indicated by the use of the hazard lights, if available, and, where appropriate, with the position lights.
If the immobilisation forces the vehicle to stop or park, the direction indicator light corresponding to the side to which it is to be carried out should also be used, if the vehicle has such a device.
3. For the same purpose, acoustic warnings may be replaced by the use of lights, even in town, using intermittently short or long-range lighting, or both alternatively, at very short intervals and so as to avoid glare.
1. Exceptionally or when provided for by some rules or the legislation on traffic, motor vehicle traffic and road safety, acoustic signals that are not strident, and their unmotivated or exaggerated use is prohibited.
2. Acoustic warnings can only be made by drivers of non-priority vehicles:
Emergency service vehicles, public or private, special vehicles and special transports may use other optical and acoustic signals in the cases and under the conditions that are determined in the following articles of this section.
The drivers of vehicles of the security services, fire fighters, civil protection and rescue, and health care, public or private, when they operate in emergency service, will warn of their presence in accordance with the provisions of article 68.2.
In accordance with the provisions of article 71, drivers of vehicles intended for works or services and those of tractors and agricultural machinery and other special vehicles or transports shall notify their presence by means of the use of the light signal V-2 referred to in Article 173, or through the use of lighting as determined in the regulations governing vehicles.
1. It is forbidden to keep the doors of the vehicle open, open them before the vehicle has come to a complete stop or open them or get out of the vehicle without having previously ascertained that this does not entail danger or hindrance to other users, especially bicycles (Article 45 of the
2. As a general rule, a vehicle must be entered and left on the side closest to the edge of the road and only when it is stopped.
3. Any unauthorised person should refrain from opening the doors of vehicles intended for the collective transport of passengers, as well as closing them at stops, hindering the entry of passengers.
1. Even if the driver does not leave their position, they must stop the engine whenever the vehicle is stopped inside a tunnel or in a closed place and during fuel loading (article 46 of the articulated text).
2. Any driver who is obliged to remain with their vehicle stopped inside a tunnel or other closed place, for a period of time exceeding two minutes, must switch off the engine until they can continue their journey, keeping the position lighting on.
3. In order to load fuel in the tank of a vehicle, the engine must be off.
The owners of fuel distributors or employees of the latter will not be able to provide fuels for their cargo if the engine is not stopped and the lights of the vehicles are turned off, the electric systems such as the radio and the devices emitting electromagnetic radiation such as mobile telephones.
4. In the absence of the owners of fuel distributors or employees of the latter, the driver of the vehicle or, where appropriate, the person who will load the fuel in the vehicle must meet the same requirements established in the previous section.
1. Drivers and occupants of motor vehicles and mopeds are obliged to use the seat belt, helmet and other protective elements in the cases and conditions determined in this chapter and in the regulations governing vehicles, with the exceptions that are also fixed in said chapter, in accordance with the international recommendations in the matter and taking into account the special conditions of disabled drivers.
2. Infringements of the rules for the use of seat belts, helmet and other mandatory safety devices provided for in this chapter shall be considered as a serious matter, as established in the article 65.4.h) of the articulated text of the Law on traffic, motor vehicle traffic and road safety.
1. The driver and the occupants of vehicles will be obliged to use, correctly fastened, approved seat belts, both on urban and interurban roads. This obligation, which refers to the seat belts, will not be required in those vehicles that do not have them installed.
In any case, children of a height equal to or less than 135 centimetres must use child restraint systems and be placed in the vehicle in accordance with the provisions of the following sections.
2. In vehicles with more than nine seats, including the driver, passengers will be informed of the obligation to have seat belts or other approved child restraint systems fastened by the driver, the guide or the person in charge of the group, through audio-visual means or by means of signs or pictograms, according to the model that appears in the annex IV, placed in visible places of each seat.
In these vehicles, the occupants referred to in the second paragraph of section 1 of three or more years must use approved child restraint systems properly adapted to their size and weight. When these systems are not available, they will use seat belts, as long as they are suitable for their size and weight.
3. In vehicles with up to nine seats, including the driver, the occupants referred to in the second paragraph of section 1 must use approved child restraint systems properly adapted to their size and weight.
These occupants should be placed in the rear seats. Exceptionally, they may occupy the front seat, provided they use approved child restraint systems properly adapted to their size and weight, in the following cases:
If the front seats are occupied and the vehicle has a front airbag, rear-facing restraint systems can only be used if the airbag has been deactivated.
1. Drivers and passengers of motorcycles or motorcycles with side-cars, three-wheeled vehicles and quadricycles, mopeds and special vehicles of the “quad” type, must use properly approved or certified helmets according to current legislation, when they drive in both urban and interurban roads.
When motorcycles, three-wheeled vehicles or quads and mopeds have self-protection structures and are equipped with seat belts and are recorded on the corresponding technical inspection card or on the moped characteristics certificate, their drivers and passengers will be exempt from wearing the protective helmet, being obliged to use the aforementioned seat belt when they travel on both urban and interurban roads.
Bicycle riders and, where appropriate, passengers will be obliged to use approved or certified helmets according to current legislation, when travelling on interurban roads, except for prolonged upward slopes, or for medical reasons that will be accredited as established in the article 119.3, or in extreme heat conditions.
Drivers of bicycles in competitions, and professional cyclists, either during training or in competition, will be governed by their own rules.
2. The installation, in any vehicle, of headrests or other elements of protection will be subordinated to fulfil the conditions that are determined in the regulatory rules of vehicles.
3. Drivers of cars, buses, vehicles for the transport of goods, mixed vehicles, non-agricultural vehicle assemblies, drivers and auxiliary personnel of pilot protection and escort vehicles must wear a reflective, high-visibility vest, certified according to Royal Decree 1407/1992, of November 20, which regulates the conditions for the comercialisation and free intra-community movement of personal protective equipment, which is included in the compulsory equipment of the vehicle, when they leave it and occupy the roadway or the hard shoulder of the interurban.
1. Notwithstanding the provisions of article 117, the following may drive without seat belts or other approved restraint systems:
Any certificate of this type issued by the competent authority of a Member State of the European Union will be valid in Spain accompanied by its official translation.
2.The exemption will also apply when referring to driving in populated areas, but in no case when done on motorways or conventional roads, to:
3. Persons with a certificate of exemption for serious medical reasons, issued in accordance with the provisions of section 1.b) above, shall be exempted from the provisions of article 118.1. This certificate must state its period of validity and be signed by a collegiate member in office. You must also carry or incorporate the symbol established by current regulations.
1. It should be considered that road safety is affected by the excess of more than 50 per cent in driving times or the reduction of more than 50 per cent in rest times established in the legislation on land transport.
2. Infringements of the rules of these requirements will be considered a serious matter, as provided in article 65.5.h) of the articulated text.
1. Pedestrians are obliged to use pavements and pedestrian zone, except when there isn’t one or it is not practical; in such cases, they may use the hard shoulder or, failing that, the roadway, in accordance with the rules that are determined in this chapter (article 49.1 of the articulated text).
2. However, even if there is a pedestrian zone, provided that the necessary precautions are taken, the following may use the hard shoulder or, if it does not exist or is not passable, the road:
3. All pedestrians must travel on the pavement on the right-hand side in relation to the direction of their movement, and when they move on the pavement or left-hand-side they should always give way to those around them and should not stop in a way that prevents others from passing them, unless it is inevitable in order to cross a pedestrian crossing or board a vehicle.
4. Those who use skateboards, roller skates or similar devices that can’t travel on the road, except in the case of dedicated zones, roads or parts of roads that are specially designed for them, can only move at walking pace on pavements or residential streets duly indicated with the sign regulated in article 159, without under any circumstances being allowed to be towed by other vehicles.
5. The movement of all types of vehicles must not, under any circumstances, be carried out on pavements and other pedestrian areas.
1. Out of populated areas, in all routes covered by the law, and in sections of town included in the development of a road that does not have space specially reserved for pedestrians, as a general rule, walking will be done on the left (article 49.2 of the articulated text).
2. Notwithstanding the conditions of the previous section, pedestrian traffic will move to the right when circumstances arise that justify it for safety reasons for all involved.
3. In town, pedestrians may move on the right or on the left, depending on the specific circumstances of traffic, road or visibility.
4. Notwithstanding the conditions of paragraphs 1 and 3, those who push or drag a two-wheeled cycle or moped, handcarts or similar devices, any group of pedestrians directed by a person or forming a group or a cortege and the disabled who move in a wheelchair should always move on the right. All of the above must obey the signals addressed to the drivers of vehicles: those of the agents and traffic lights, always; the others, as far as they are applicable.
5. The movement on the hard shoulder or roadway will be done with prudence, without unnecessarily obstructing the movement, and approaching as much as possible to the outer edge of those. Except in the case that they form a cortege, they must march one after another if the safety of the movement so requires, especially in cases of low visibility or high density of vehicle traffic.
6. When there is a shelter, pedestrian zone or other suitable space, no pedestrian must remain stopped in the road or on the hard shoulder, even if they are waiting for a vehicle, and to board, they can only get in when it is at the correct position.
7. When perceiving the optical and acoustic signals of priority vehicles, they should clear the road and remain in shelters or pedestrian zones.
8. Driving on residential streets duly marked with the signal S-28 regulated in article 159 will conform to the requirements of the signal.
Outside populated areas, between sunset and sunrise or in meteorological or environmental conditions that significantly reduce visibility, all pedestrians, when moving along the road or hard shoulder, must be equipped with a luminous or retro reflective element approved and responding to the technical requirements contained in Royal Decree 1407/1992, of November 20, which regulates the conditions for the commercialisation and free intra-community movement of personal protective equipment, which is visible at a minimum distance of 150 metres for drivers approaching them, and groups of pedestrians led by a person or forming courtship should also have, on the side closest to the centre of the roadway, the lights needed to determine their location and dimensions, which should be white or yellow at the front and red at the back and, where appropriate, may constitute a single set.
1. In areas where there are pedestrian crossings, those who want to cross the road must do so
precisely, without doing so in the vicinity, and when such steps are taken, the following rules
should also be observed:
2. To cross the road outside a pedestrian crossing, pedestrians must make sure that they can do so without risk or undue obstruction.
3. When crossing the road, they must walk perpendicular to the axis of the road, not delay or stop on the road unnecessarily and not hinder the passage of others.
4. Pedestrians may not cross squares and roundabouts on the road, and must go around them.
1. The movement of pedestrians on motorways is prohibited, except in the cases and conditions determined in the following sections.
Drivers of vehicles travelling on motorways must ignore the requests for passage received in any section of them, including the esplanades of toll stations.
2. If in case of incident, breakdown, physical discomfort of the occupants or other emergency, a vehicle has to be immobilised on a motorway and it is necessary to request assistance, the nearest distress post will be used, and if the road is not equipped with this service the driver may require the help of others, without any of the occupants of the vehicle having to cross the road.
3. The occupants or servers of the vehicles of the emergency or special services may walk on the motorways whenever it is strictly indispensable for the provision of the corresponding service and adopt the appropriate measures so as not to compromise the safety of any road user.
In the roads subject to the legislation on traffic, motor vehicle traffic and road safety, only the movement of working animals, cargo or saddles, heads of cattle in herd or flock will be permitted, when there is no route available for livestock and provided they are supervised by someone. This transit should be carried out by the alternative route that has less intensity of movement of vehicles and in accordance with what is established in this chapter (article 50.1 of the articulated text).
1. The animals referred to in the previous article must be guided, at least, by a person over 18-years-of-age, capable of mastering them at all times, which will observe, in addition to the rules established for drivers of vehicles that may be affected, the following guidelines:
2. It is forbidden to leave animals without supervision on any type of road or in its vicinity, provided that there is a possibility that they may cross the road.
The movement of animals through motorways is prohibited (article 50.2 of the articulated text).
Said prohibition includes the driving of animal-drawn vehicles.
1. Users of the roads who are involved in a traffic incident, are witnesses to one, or have knowledge of one, are obliged to assist or request assistance to attend to the victims, if any, provide their collaboration to avoid further danger or damage, to restore, as far as possible, the security of the road and clarify facts (article 51.1 of the articulated text).
“Omission of the duty of help” is considered a crime in the Penal Code article 195, with penalties of up to four years in prison in some cases. Do not forget that the obligation to help in an incident is not only those involved, but also the people who are witnesses or have knowledge of it. This obligation ceases at the moment in which the victim is assisted by someone. In an incident you must communicate your data and those of your vehicle to the people involved and / or the agents of the authorities. Failure to provide them will be grounds for serious sanctions. Remember that if there are no serious injuries and you are clear how the incident occurred and who is responsible, it will be enough to make a standard report, as long as the vehicles are not blocking the road.
After the incident, if there are no victims, it is clear how it happened and the cars can move, you must do so to a safe area to restore traffic movement and prevent a new incident from occurring. If not, you must signal the incident with the use of emergency triangles. Before you do this, do not forget to put on your reflective vest. If passengers get out of the car and walk along the road, it avoids them being hit. Never be outside the vehicle without using the reflective vest if the vehicle is on the road. Avoid using the hard shoulder to fill in a report, wait until you are in a safe area.
The most common error when a traffic incident happens is not using high-visibility vests, which makes us more visible to other road users, and the poor signalling of the accident.
In the photo we can see how one of the people involved in the incident, is helping the victim, but forgot to put on their high-visibility vest, but put the emergency triangle next to them. The purpose of the triangle is to warn drivers who are approaching that an incident has occurred, so they can moderate their speed or even stop their vehicle. If we place the triangle next to the incident, it is not fulfilling its function of warning in advance.
Adding to that, as seen in the image, it is night; we are putting ourselves in danger, not correctly signalling the incident or making our presence visible on the road.
Remember the rule P.A.S (Protect-Advise-Help).
2. Every road user involved in a traffic incident must, wherever possible:
Remember that the official document to be filled out in the event of an incident is called “Amicable Agreement” or “European Accident Statement”. It is available in all the languages of the European Union, ask your insurer for a copy.
It is not a mandatory document, but it is advisable to take it in the car. Do not forget, that you have a period of 7 days from when the incident occurs, to send a copy to your car insurance company. You must sign it at the bottom and do not forget to mention all the passengers of the vehicle, as well as the witnesses, if any. If you do not agree on any of the points of the amicable agreement, or that the opposing party does not provide their driver’s licence, or the insurance company of their vehicle, please request the presence of the police to verify the documentation.
3. Except in the cases in which it becomes obvious that help is not necessary, any user of the road that warns that a traffic incident has occurred, as long as they are not involved in it, must complete, as far as possible, the requirements established in the previous section, unless the authority or its agents appear at the scene.
1. If, due to incident or damage, the vehicle or its load obstructs the road, the drivers, after properly signalling the vehicle or the obstacle created, should take the necessary measures for it to be removed in the shortest possible time, they must remove it from the road and place it in compliance with parking regulations whenever feasible (article 51.2 of the articulated text).
2. In any case of emergency, whenever a vehicle is immobilised on the road or its load has fallen on it, the driver or, as far as possible, the occupants of the vehicle will try to move the aforementioned somewhere which causes the least obstruction to traffic, for which they may use, where appropriate, the hard shoulder or median; likewise, they will adopt the appropriate measures so that the vehicle and cargo are removed from the road in the shortest possible time.
3. In the cases referred to in the previous section, without prejudice to turning on the emergency light if the vehicle bears it and, where appropriate, the position and clearance lights, while the road is left clear, all drivers must use the regulatory hazard warning devices to warn others of this circumstance, unless the traffic conditions do not allow it. Such devices should be placed, at least 50 metres away and in such a way that they are visible from at least 100 metres by the approaching drivers, one hazard warning in front and one behind the vehicle or cargo. On single-way roads, or more than three lanes, the installation of a single device, located at least 50 metres away to the rear, in the aforementioned manner, will suffice.
4. If it is necessary to ask for help, the nearest distress post should be used, if the road has one; otherwise, it may be requested from other road users. In any case and as long as it is possible, no one should cross the road.
5. The towing of an incident or damaged vehicle must only be carried out by another vehicle specifically designed for this purpose. Exceptionally, and always considering safety conditions, towing by other vehicles will be allowed, but only to the nearest place where it can be conveniently immobilised and as long as it doesn’t obstruct traffic. In no case will said exception be applicable on motorways or carriageways.
6. When the emergency occurs in a vehicle intended for the transport of dangerous goods, specific rules will also apply.
Road signs are the set of signals and orders of traffic agents or circumstantial signs that modify the normal way of using the road and signs of fixed beaconing, traffic lights, vertical traffic signs and road markings, intended for users of the road and whose aim is to warn and inform them or to order or regulate their behaviour within good time in certain circumstances of the road or traffic.
1. All users of the routes covered by the law are obliged to obey the traffic signs that establish an obligation or a prohibition and adapt their behaviour to the message of the rest of the regulatory signs that are in the roads through which they move. For these purposes, when the sign imposes an obligation to stop, the driver of the vehicle will not be able to resume movement, and must remain stopped until they have fulfilled the requirements established by the signage.
The vehicles that use dynamic tolls or electronic tolls must be provided with the technical means that enable their use under operating conditions (article 53.1 of the articulated text).
2. Except for special circumstances that justify it, users must obey the prescriptions indicated by the signs, even when they seem to be in contradiction with the rules of behaviour in movement (article 53.2 of the articulated text).
3. Users must obey the indications of the traffic lights and vertical traffic signs immediately to their right, above the road or above their lane, and if they do not exist in the aforementioned locations and intend to turn left or continue in front, those that are located immediately to the left. If there are traffic lights or vertical traffic signs with different indications to the right and to the left, those who want to turn left or continue straight ahead should only obey those immediately to their left.
1. The order of priority between the different types of traffic signs is as follows:
2. In the event that the prescriptions indicated by different signs appear to be in contradiction to each other, the priority will prevail, according to the order referred to in the previous section, or the most restrictive, if it is signs of the same type (article 54.2 of the articulated text).
1. The official catalogue of road signs must comply with the provisions of international regulations and recommendations in this area, as well as with the basic regulations established for this purpose by the Ministries of the Interior and Development.
2. The catalogue specifies the form and meaning of the signs and, where appropriate, their colour and design, as well as their dimensions and placement systems.
3. The signs that can be used on the roads subject to the legislation on traffic, motor vehicle traffic and road safety must comply with the standards and specifications established in this regulation and in the official catalogue of traffic signs.
4. The form, symbols and nomenclature of the signs, as well as the documents that make up the official catalogue of traffic signs, are those listed in Annex I.
Any sign will be applied to the entire width of the roadway by the drivers who are authorised to use the road, which is who it is applies to. However, its application may be limited to one or more lanes, by markings on the road.
In order to make them more visible and readable at night, road signs, especially hazard warning and regulatory signs, must be illuminated or provided with reflective materials or devices, as provided in the basic regulation established for these purposes by the Ministry of Development.
1. To facilitate the interpretation of signals, an inscription may be added in a rectangular complementary panel placed below them or inside a rectangular panel containing the signal.
2. Exceptionally, when the competent authorities deem it appropriate to specify the meaning of a signal or a symbol or, with respect to regulatory signals, limit its scope to certain categories of users of the road or to certain periods, and the necessary indications by means of an additional symbol or figures in the conditions defined in the official catalogue of traffic signs, an inscription will be placed below the sign, in a rectangular complementary panel, without prejudice to the possibility of replacing or completing those inscriptions by means of one or several expressive symbols placed on the same plaque.
In the event that the sign is placed on a fixed or variable message poster, the inscription that refers to it may be located next to it.
The written indications that are included or accompany the signalling panels of the public roads, and inscriptions, will appear in Castilian language and, in addition, in the official language of the autonomous community recognised in the respective statute of autonomy, when the signal is located in the territorial scope of said community.
The population centres and other place names will be designated in their official name and, when necessary for identification purposes, in Spanish.
1. It is the responsibility of the road user to maintain the best possible safety conditions for driving and to use and conserve the suitable signals and road markings. It is also their responsibility to get prior authorisation for installing other traffic signs. In case of emergency, authoritative agents may install circumstantial signals without previous authorisation (article 57.1 of the articulated text).
The National Roads in Spain are the state-owned roads, managed by the Ministry of Public Works and which, together with the State Highways and Motorways, form the so-called State Roads Network.
The Road Network of the Autonomous Communities, are part of the Road Network of Spain and are all the roads running fully within the Comunidad Autonoma area, and which are not owned by the Government.
The toll roads, although they are owned by the Ministry of Development and are part of the State Roads Network, are operated under concession by private or a mixture of companies.
The origin of the roads, at “0” kilometre, is the Puerta del Sol in Madrid.
2. The authority in charge of traffic regulation will be responsible for the circumstantial signalling due to the contingencies of the traffic and the variable signalling necessary for its control, in accordance with the highway legislation (article 57.2 of the articulated text). In this regard, it is the responsibility of the autonomous body Central Traffic Headquarters or, where appropriate, the regional or local authority responsible for traffic regulation determination of classes or sections of roads that must have circumstantial or variable signalling or other means of surveillance, regulation, control and telematic traffic management; that of the characteristics of the physical and technological elements that have the purpose of assisting the traffic authority; the installation and maintenance of the signage and physical or technological elements, as well as the determination at all times of the uses and messages of the variable message panels, without doubting of the competencies that, in each case, may correspond to the drivers.
3. The responsibility for signalling road works carried out on the roads subject to the legislation on traffic, motor vehicle traffic and road safety shall correspond to the bodies that carry them out or to the contracted companies. The road users are obliged to follow the instructions of the personnel assigned to the regulation of the passage of vehicles in said works, according to the requirements of article 60.5.
When the works are carried out by successful bidders or entities other than the owner, these, prior to its start, will be communicated to the autonomous Central Traffic Authority or, where appropriate, to the regional or local authority responsible for traffic, which will dictate the instructions that are appropriate in relation to the regulation, management and control of traffic.
4. The execution of construction work without prior authorisation of the owner of the road will be governed by the provisions of the highway legislation or, where applicable, the municipal regulations (article 10.1 of the articulated text).
The realisation and signage of works that violate the instructions issued will be considered a serious infraction, in accordance with the provisions of the article 65.4.f) of the articulated text of the Law on traffic, circulation of motor vehicles and road safety. Please note that the reference to article 65.4.f) must be understood as made to article 65.4.d), as established in the final provision third of this Regulation, introduced by section ten of the single article of the RD 965/2006, of September 1, by which the General Regulation of Circulation is modified, approved by R.D. 1428/2003, of November 21 (“B.O.E.” September 5).
Road works that hinder road traffic in any way must be marked, both day and night, and luminously marked during the night hours, or when the weather or environmental conditions so require, by the director of the work, according to the regulation established for these purposes by the Ministry of Development.
When road works sections are marked, the road markings will be yellow. The following vertical signs will also have the yellow background:
Its meaning will be the same as that of the equivalents that are used when there are no works. The shape, colour, design, symbols, meaning and dimensions of the signs of road works are those that appear in the official catalogue of road signs. The form, symbols and nomenclature are also included in Annex I of this regulation.
Unless otherwise justified, in any type of works and activities on the roads the elements and devices of signalling, beaconing and defence included in the basic regulation established for these purposes by the Ministries of Development and Interior should be used exclusively, as indicated in the Annex I.
1. The owner of the road or, where appropriate, the authority in charge of regulating traffic will order the immediate withdrawal and, where appropriate, the replacement of the adequate antiregulation signs installed, of those that are no longer needed and those who do not comply because of their deterioration (article 58.1 of the articulated text).
2. Except for justified reasons, no one should install, remove, move, hide or modify the signalling of a road without permission from its owner or, where appropriate, the authority in charge of regulating traffic or responsible for the facilities (article 58.2 of the articulated text).
3. It is forbidden to modify the content of the signs or place plaques, posters, marks or other objects over them or near them that may lead to confusion, reduce their visibility or effectiveness, dazzle road users or distract their attention, without respecting the powers of the road owners (article 58.3 of the articulated text).
The autonomous body Central Traffic Headquarters or, where appropriate, the regional or local authority responsible for traffic regulation may alter, at any time, the content of the signals referred to in article 144.1 to adapt them to changing traffic circumstances, without limiting the capability of the owners of the roads.
4. The cases of withdrawal or deterioration of the permanent or occasional signage will be considered as serious infringements, as foreseen in article 65.4.f) of the articulated text.
Please note that the reference to article 65.4.f) must be understood as made to article 65.4.d), as established in the third final provision of this Regulation, introduced by section ten of the single article of the R.D. 965/2006, of September 1, by which the General Regulation of Circulation is modified, approved by R.D. 1428/2003, of November 21 (“B.O.E.” September 5).
1. The agents of the traffic authority who are regulating the traffic should be easily recognisable at a distance, both day and night, and their signals must be visible, and the users of the route must immediately obey their orders.
The agents of the traffic regulation authority and the Military Police, construction workers and escorts of special transport vehicles, who regulate the passage of vehicles and, in its case, the school patrols, the personnel of civil protection and that of organisations of sports activities or of any other act, authorised for the purposes contemplated in section 4 of this article, shall wear garments of striking colours and devices or retro reflective elements that allow drivers and other road users who approach them to distinguish them at a minimum distance of 150 metres.
2. As a general rule, the agents of the traffic authority will use the following signals:
The stop must be made at the nearest stopping point or, failing that, immediately in front of the agent. At an intersection, the driver must stop before entering.
After this signal, the agent may indicate, where appropriate, the place where the stop must be made.
Agents may order the detention of vehicles with a series of short and frequent whistle blows, and the driver may resume their movement after hearing a long whistle blow.
3. Agents may give orders or instructions to users while using the V-1 signal established by the General Vehicle Regulations, through the public address system or by any other means that may be clearly perceived by them, among which there are the following:
4. In the absence of usual traffic agents or to assist them, and under the circumstances and conditions established in this regulation, the Military Police and the road works personnel, and those accompanying vehicles in a special transport regime may regulate the passage of vehicles through the use of R-2 and R-400 vertical signs incorporated into a paddle, and, by this means, school patrols can use it to stop movement. When the competent authority authorises the celebration of sporting activities or acts that require limitations to the movement in urban or interurban roads, the authority responsible for traffic may enable the civil protection personnel or the responsible organisation to prevent the access to vehicles or pedestrians to the affected area or itinerary, in the terms of Annex II.
When the State Security Forces and Corps, within the scope of their functions, establish controls for public safety on public roads, they may regulate traffic exclusively in the absence of traffic agents.
The form and meaning of the signals and orders of the traffic agents will be adjusted to what is established in the official catalogue of traffic signs. These signs are also included in Annex I.
Subsection 1 – Danger warning signs
Subsection 2 – Regulatory signals
Subsection 3 – Indication signs
The nomenclature and meaning of road markings of other colours are the following:
The shape, colour, design, symbols, meaning and dimensions of the road markings are included in the official catalogue of road signs. The form, symbols and nomenclature of the corresponding marks are also included in Annex I of this regulation.
1. Signs on vehicles are intended to inform the users of the road of certain circumstances or characteristics of the vehicle on which they are placed, the service provided, the load transported or about the driver.
2. Regardless of those required by other specific regulations, the nomenclature and meaning of the signs on the vehicles are the following:
V-1. Priority vehicle. Indicates that it is a vehicle of the police, fire fighters, civil protection and rescue or health care services, in urgent service, if it is used simultaneously with the special acoustic warning device, which regulations governing vehicles are equipped with.
V-2. Vehicles for road works or services, agricultural tractors, agricultural machinery, other special vehicles, special transportation and military convoys. Indicates that it is a vehicle of this class, in service, a special transportation or military convoy.
V-3. Police vehicle. Indicates a vehicle of this class in non-emergency service.
V-4. Speed limit. Indicates that the vehicle must not travel at a higher speed, in kilometres per hour, than the figure shown in the signal.
V-5. Slow vehicle. Indicates that it is a motor vehicle, or set of vehicles, which, by construction, cannot exceed the speed of 40 kilometres per hour.
V-6. Long vehicle. Indicates that the vehicle or set of vehicles has a length greater than 12 metres.
V-7. Spanish nationality. Indicates that the vehicle is registered in Spain.
V-8. Foreign nationality. Indicates that the vehicle is registered in the country to which the acronyms it contains correspond, and that the installation of this is mandatory in order to travel through Spain.
V-9. Public service. Indicates that the vehicle is dedicated to providing public services. The use of this sign will only be required when the regulations of the public service in question so dictate.
V-10. School transportation. Indicates that the vehicle is performing this kind of transportation.
V-11. Transport of dangerous goods. Indicates that the vehicle transports dangerous goods.
V-12. Test or investigation plaque. Indicates that the vehicle is performing special tests or investigative tests.
V-13. Novice driver. Indicates that the vehicle is driven by a person whose driving licence is less than one year old.
V-14. Learner driver. Indicates that the vehicle is being driven according to the learning of driving or aptitude tests.
V-15. Disabled. Indicates that the driver of the vehicle is a person with disabilities that reduce their mobility and that, therefore, can benefit from the facilities that general or specifically granted.
V-16. Pre-signalling danger device. Indicates that a vehicle has been immobilised in the roadway or that its cargo has been dropped from it.
V-17. Free indicator lighting. It indicates that the taxi driving is in conditions to be rented.
V-18. Taximeter lighting. This is destined, in passenger cars for public passenger service, to illuminate the metre counter as soon as the flag descent occurs.
V-19. Badge of periodic technical inspection of the vehicle. Indicates that the vehicle has passed the periodic technical inspection, as well as the date on which the next inspection should pass.
V-20. Panel for protruding loads. Indicates that the vehicle’s load protrudes behind it.
V-21. Advise sign for special transport accompaniment. Advertises a special transportation.
V-22. Cyclists escort warning sign. Indicates the upcoming movement of cyclists.
V-23. Badge of goods transport vehicles. Indicates a vehicle of this class. It will consist of reflective markings used to increase the visibility and recognition of long and heavy trucks and vehicles and their trailers. The badge of the transport vehicles must comply with the provisions for this sign in Annex XI of the General Vehicle Regulations.
3. The shape, colour, design, symbols, dimensions, meaning and placement of the signals on the vehicles shall comply with the provisions of Annex XI of the General Vehicle Regulations.
The Original text of the Spanish Road Safety Law: Agencia Estatal Boletin Oficial del Estado, Real Decreto 1428/2003, Reglamento General de Circulación
Mark Nolan, Author and Editor of the N332 Driving in Spain website
Francisco Javier Morales Herrera, Traffic Police Officer with the Guardia Civil, Author and Editor of the N332 Driving in Spain website
The Leader Newspaper, Get to Know Spanish Traffic Law, 02 December 2018