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Basic Traffic Rules in Spain

All traffic coming from the right has right of way, except when you are on a right of way road. Public transport coming from the right always has right of way unless indicated otherwise. Give way to traffic from the left, especially at roundabouts. Do not pull into the middle of the road to turn left if there is a solid line in the road. There are often special lanes for this, signposted cambio de sentido. Always wear seatbelts and don't drink and drive - the limits are very low and the penalties very high, as are on-the-spot fines for traffic offences.

traffic spain

Noises
It is against the law to use the horn in between 23:00 and 6:00 o'clock. Use of lights is recommended. In the mountains you have to use the horn at turns at all times.

Invalid parking
You can park with your invalid card from back home on the invalid spots without a problem.

Glasses
If you use glasses when driving you have to have a spare set with you.

Radar detection
The use of radar detection equipment is against the law.

Triangle
It is obligatory to have two triangles in your car. One to put in front and one to put at the back of your car in case of an accident or breakdown.

Driver's license

Non-Residents can drive in Spain on a foreign driving license for a maximum of 6 months in the calendar year.

EU residents can drive on their existing EU license until it runs outs. When it does run out you must apply for a Spanish driving license.

Non-EU residents must obtain a Spanish driving license after one year.

Road Tax

Road tax in Spain is paid to the local government. The fee is related to the individual vehicle and the area. All vehicles are required to undertake an annual inspection (called an ITV), to check the condition of the vehicle. Major towns and cities have several ITV stations to which you can take your car.

Insurance

As with most other European countries third party insurance is compulsory.

If you give proof of at least 5 years no claims from your earlier insurer you can reduce your insurance premiums.

Parking

No parking in spaces painted yellow or (obviously) in areas with "No Parking" signs. Parking spaces with meters are marked in blue where a ticket can be purchased from an attendant or machine. The machine may be halfway down the block; don't assume that because there is no meters near the car that parking is free. These spaces are usually for two hours maximum. Fines vary between areas but can be substantial.

Fines

Fines for speeding are paid on the spot and are calculated at 1,000 pts per kilometer over the limit. The legal drink-drive limit is 50mg per milliliter with breath test a frequent occurrence. Fines for this are very high.

seatbelt

It is compulsory on all roads to wear seatbelts both front and rear where fitted.

New laws and mobile phone

The use of a mobile telephone whilst driving is now banned in Spain, although you can pull over to the side of the road to take an emergency call. Those who break the law face fines of up to 300€. Motorists are required to use hands-free kits, which doesn't include earphone connections. It must be equipment fitted to the power supply of the car.

ACCIDENTS
When possible, road users involved in an accident should assess the situation and the priority measures to take in order to guaranty traffic safety without destroying forensic evidence, provided that this does not jeopardise the safety of the victims or the traffic. They should attend to the injured, request the assistance of the rescue services and try to move it to the hard shoulder or lay-by. Adequately mark the presence of their vehicle on the road by placing two warning triangles one 50 metres in front of the car and another 50 metres behind, so that they are visible to approaching drivers from at least 100 metres.

Those witnessing an accident are obliged to tend to the victims and seek the attendance of the emergency services. Casualties that are clearly not serious need not be reported to the authorities or their agents. SOS telephone posts are normally available on motorways only, in all other roads presence of traffic police is high. In any case, the assistance of other drivers should also be sought.

In the event of an accident you should call 112 and in case of  assault or criminal offence on the road, it may be reported in English by calling the police on 902 102 112. Should the need for counselling arise, drivers are advised to contact their consulate in the area.

BREAKDOWNS
The towing of a vehicle immobilised by an accident or breakdown, may only be towed away by a breakdown vehicle. Exceptionally, towing of the vehicle by another car may be allowed, though never on motorways or dual carriage roads, to move it to the nearest safe place for the traffic only, provided that safety in the operation is guaranteed.

Again, expediency in obtaining the assistance of the breakdown services is necessary and this should be done by means of the SOS roadside telephones, the traffic police or other drivers.

Assistance in case of breakdowns may be sought from the Spanish Royal Automobile Club, Eloy Gonzalo 32, 28010 Madrid. Tel. (0034) 91 5947 400. Fax (0034) 902100493 www.race.es