Published: Tuesday, November 10, 2020 2:35 PM
The Council of Ministers on Tuesday approved the reform of the highway code to change some of the regulations it includes, such as speed limits on urban roads, fines for traffic violations or access to a driving license.
This was announced by the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, during an appearance after the approval of this regulation in the Council of Ministers. The changes listed below will go into effect on January 2, 2021, although the new rules that affect speed will do so six months later for their proper public disclosure.
Speed changes on urban roads
The speed will be reduced from 50 km / h to 20 km / h on urban roads, in single lane streets and with the approach and the road at the same level.
If all of these conditions are not met, the speed will be limited to 30 km / h on one-lane roads in each direction of travel and 50 km / h on streets with two or more lanes in the same direction.
Likewise, on conventional roads, the speed limit set for overtaking cannot be exceeded by 20 km / h. In this sense, they emphasize the importance of caution against frontal collisions.
This reform plans to ban the circulation of personal mobility vehicles, such as electric scooters, on sidewalks or pedestrian areas. These, moreover, may not exceed 25 km / h and must have a certificate of technical criteria.
Increased fines for infractions
The new regulation stipulates that drivers who use a mobile phone while driving will lose 6 points on their license. Before this offense was punished with a loss of 3 points.
In addition, drivers who do not use seat belts, helmets, appropriate child restraints or other protective elements will lose 4 points. Its incorrect use will also be penalized.
On the other hand, the fact of circulating with mechanisms of detection of radars or kinemometers will suppose a serious infringement which will be sanctioned at 500 euros and the loss of 3 points in the license.
Finally, the new regulations include as a “very serious offense” the fact of committing fraud at roadside checks, punishable by a fine of 500 euros and of sanctioning the offender for 6 months without being able to sit for the examination.
For a driver to recover their initial points balance, two years will have to pass without committing a new offense, although this time will depend on the seriousness of the act committed. Thus, 2 points can be recovered by performing safe driving.
Creation of a driver register for companies
Companies that transport people and goods will be able to access a digital driver register to find out whether their worker’s license is valid or not. If not, it will be marked in red.
Changes in obtaining a driver’s license
The decree that the Council of Ministers has implemented also includes changes in obtaining the various traffic permits.
First, the minimum age required to drive trucks is reduced to 18 years after having passed the certificate of vocational aptitude (CAP) of 280 hours. Until now, the age set was 21.
The minimum age required to drive coaches is also reduced to 18, but only without passengers and within a maximum radius of 50 km. It will only be from the age of 21 and with a CAP of 280 hours that they will be able to transport passengers.
The two modifications respond to the adequacy of the age for obtaining a driving license with the fixed age at which the CAP can be taken. In addition, it responds to a demand from the road transport sector due to the shortage of professional drivers and opens the possibility for young people to access the labor market.
Likewise, the weight of vans that can circulate on the national territory with the B license for the transport of goods goes from 3,500 kg to 4,250 kg, only when the increase in mass is due to the new propulsion systems.