Now that we are seeing some movement of people across Europe and at last the UK, I think everyone should be aware of the changes made to the Speed Limits in Spain…bearing in mind, that the limits have changed but importantly… NOT necessarily the Road Signs showing the new limits but Speed Cameras are becoming prominent.
(Those of you who recall the 2 great comedians Morecombe and Wise with Andre Previn, the above statement reminds me of…not necessarily in the right order)
Living in Spain is often a compromise between a healthy climate and the sometimes eccentricities of the Country.
From the May 11, between 70% and 80% of city streets in Spain NOW have a maximum speed limit of 30 km/h.
Although it was initially announced at the end of last year, the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) gave municipalities a period of six months in order to adopt the necessary measures.
Until now, the generic speed limit in cities was set at 50 kilometres per hour, however as of May 11, this figure is reserved for high-capacity roads that have two or more lanes in each direction.
With the aim of eradicating traffic deaths in urban accidents and avoiding both accidents and their consequences, two new limitations were introduced: 30 kilometres per hour and 20 kilometres per hour, depending on the type of street.
This is the limit for roads that have a single lane in each direction, which is already being applied in many Spanish cities. It should be noted that the areas reserved for some vehicles or users (such as those for public transport) are not counted.
This new limit will be the one that regulates traffic on single-platform roads, that is, those streets in which the pavement and the road are unified and, therefore, pedestrians and vehicles share the same access, although preference is always to the pedestrian.
Therefore, from May 11, the speed limit on urban roads is now:
Please note these are the maximum and there could be signage indicating a maximum speed lower than these limits.
The penalties will also change: driving over the speed limit will be considered a serious offence that will be punished with a fine of 100 euro without loss of points on the driving license. Driving at excessive speed will result in higher fines and the loss of points.
Remember that town councils will have the power to reduce these new generic speeds if they consider it necessary and provided that they install the necessary signage.
The General Directorate of Traffic has been recommending these speed limits to municipalities for years but with little uptake they have now decided to introduce the measures themselves.
In Spain, in 2019 the number of deaths in towns and cities increased by 6% and according to a study by the World Health Organization (WHO), the risk of dying in an accident involving a car being driven at 50kmh is at least five times greater than if the speed were 30 kmh.
Penalties for driving faster than the new limits:
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