THE NEW TRAFFIC LAW: MORE POINTS AND LESS OVERTAKING
Recently, the new reform of the Traffic Act has been approved, in order to increase safety on our roads. It includes aspects related to personal mobility vehicles (MVP), such as electric scooters, a hardening in penalties at the points of the driver’s license and other issues related to overtaking and safe driving.
The final drafting of the new law can be read in the Official Gazette of the State, but it will not enter into force for three months, in March 2022.
All these changes have the ambitious goal of “zero accident rate” in mind. These are the highlights of the new Law.
CHANGES IN PENALTY POINTS
Mobile use: 6 points
One of the main modifications are the removal of between three and six points to use or carry the mobile in hand while driving. The aim of this Act is to abolish the use of mobile phones while driving in order to avoid one of the most frequent distracting elements on our roads. This excludes the use of the mobile connected to the car, using voice commands to give commands such as calling someone.
In addition to points, holding the phone in the hand, or fitting it between the helmet and the head, can carry fines of 200€.
Seat belt: 4 points
Another of the changes in this Traffic Law is that you can be fined if you do not go well subject. Not wearing the seat belt, or making an improper use of the seat belt or child protection systems, can lead to the loss of four points of the card.
In the case of motorists, we would talk about not wearing or not having properly attached the helmet.
Throwing cigarette butts or objects at the track
The section dealing with throwing objects or cigarette butts on the public road, which may cause fires or accidents, indicates a penalty of four to six points on the driver’s license.
Overtaking to cyclists
A six-point withdrawal shall be imposed on any overtaking of cyclists who do not keep the safety distance of one and a half metres. The aim of this law is to protect the most vulnerable road users, cyclists, from an increase in accidents since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the DGT (Dirección General de Tráfico).
In addition to the fine for the use of the mobile, this new Traffic Law establishes other economic sanctions.
Using methods of communication during an exam, or the impersonation of identity for its realization, will have a cost of 500€. This type of offence also includes throwing objects onto the track, in addition to the removal of relevant points.
Serious infringements will be subject to a monetary penalty of €200, for example, carrying radar detectors in the vehicle, even if they are not used.
On the other hand, infringements declared as minor, for failing to comply with other traffic regulations, can result in a fine of €100.
In order to reduce frontal collisions on conventional roads, the removal of Section 21.4 of this law is another major change that has been made.
This point referred to the permission of drivers of to exceed by 20km/h the maximum speeds on conventional roads (with the exception of crossings) to overtake vehicles running at a lower speed.
For example, on roads with a maximum speed of 90km/h, you could reach 110km/h by overtaking to overtake a vehicle at a lower speed than the maximum allowed.
Therefore, since the entry into force of the new law, it will no longer be legal to exceed the speed limit on these roads.
ELECTRIC SCOOTERS AND MVP
With the modification of this Law, the electric scooters are left outside the sidewalks. If a scooter is on the sidewalk, it could be considered a serious offence. This reform seeks to protect pedestrians, who are the most vulnerable user on the public road. Given this situation, it will be the municipalities that decide which sanction to apply.
Use of the helmet will be mandatory.
It is also prohibited for minors who have ingested a minimum amount of alcohol to use one of these personal mobility vehicles (MVP) or bicycles.
During the process of the new Traffic Law in the Senate, the section was deleted that indicated that the teaching of theoretical knowledge, necessary to obtain the driving license, could be done at a distance, without having to attend the driving school in person.
Therefore, we now look for to promote in-person training, before taking the theoretical exam, in a physical driving school. This would indirectly lead to an improvement in road safety as a result of better training with traditional face-to-face teaching.