Last December, Congress passed the modification of the Traffic Law that will come into force on 21st March 2022.
The approved reform revises the penalties applied since 2015 for offences that result in a loss of points on the driving licence and toughens some of the fines provided for. In addition, it establishes a single two-year period for recovering lost points and it is also committed to providing driving courses to raise drivers' awareness of the importance of road safety.
Here we tell you how the new Traffic Law comes into force and what changes will take effect from next March.
It entries into force on 21st March 2022
The reform of the Traffic Law was approved on 3rd December 2021 and published in the Spanish Official Gazette (BOE) on 21st December. In the text it was mentioned that the new traffic regulation comes into force three months after its official publication, therefore, the new sanctions will start to be applied on 21st March 2022.
However, you should know that there are some modifications that are already being applied since December.
What changes with the new traffic law
One of the most important changes introduced by the amendment to the Traffic Act is the ban on cars and motorbikes overtaking on conventional roads if the speed limit on the road has to be exceeded. In other words, it is no longer permitted to exceed the speed limit by up to 20 km/h in order to overtake.
In addition, with the aim of improving road safety and protecting the most vulnerable groups, the new law establishes that on roads with more than one lane in each direction it is compulsory to change lanes to overtake cyclists and mopeds.
Likewise, passenger transport vehicles registered from July onwards will have to compulsorily incorporate an anti-starting breathalyser. In addition, transport and goods companies will be able to access a register of professional drivers to check whether their employees have a valid driving licence.
Increased loss of points for existing offences
As far as penalties are concerned, the changes that stand out the most in this reform of the Traffic Law have to do with the increase in the loss of points for some offences that were already punishable.
Some of the offences that will cost drivers more points from March are:
- Holding and/or using mobile devices while driving, from being penalised with 3 points less to 6, plus a fine of 200 €.
- Not wearing seat belts, child restraint systems, helmets and other mandatory protective equipment, which will no longer be 3 but 4 points less and a financial penalty of €200.
- Throwing objects from the vehicle that could cause accidents or fires, which increases from 4 to 6 points.
- Overtaking cyclists without maintaining the mandatory minimum separation, hindering or endangering their lives, will result in a loss of 6 points and not 4 as before.
Two years without breaking the law in order to recover 12 points
Another of the new features introduced by the reform is that the period of time that will have to elapse to recover driving licence points is two years, as long as no offences are committed during this time.
Until now, this period varied according to the seriousness of the offence that led to the loss of points.
Recovery of 2 points with DGT courses
On the other hand, the new law provides that up to two points can be recovered if the sanctioned driver attends safe and efficient driving courses given by the Spanish Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DGT). The requirements and conditions to be met in order to attend these courses will be established through a Ministerial Order.
In addition, attendance at these awareness and sensitisation courses will also be taken into account as complementary training to pass the driving licence.
Point penalties will be as follows
The offences that will also be punished with a loss of points, according to the recently approved reform of the Traffic Act, are as follows:
- Driving with the presence of drugs in the organism or a rate of alcohol greater than 0.50 mg/l in exhaled air in general and 0.30 mg/l in the case of professional drivers and with less than two years of seniority, will be punished with 6 fewer points.
- Using or possessing technology to inhibit radars. This is considered a very serious offence and will be penalised with 6 points off the driving licence.
- Not respecting the right of way at a give way sign and not stopping at a stop sign or red traffic light will be penalised with 4 points less.
- Carrying a mobile phone between the helmet and the driver's head will result in a 3 points deduction.