Motorhome driving in Spain – Traffic Rules Spain
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Spain’s road system totals approximately 166,000 Km in length, made up of motorways, toll roads and trunk roads. The roads are managed by central and local authorities, and the basic rules of road use are similar to those in other European countries.
Motorways in Spain
Driving in Spain – Motorways (autopistas) are marked with and A or E and the road number. Toll roads (autopistas de peage) are marked with AP and the road number. Exits (salidas) are numbered.
Main Trunk Roads
•Dual Carriageways (autovias) are marked with an E and the road number. They do not always have a central reservation between lanes
•National highways (carreteras nacionales) are marked with N or CN and the road number
•Country Roads (carreteras comarcales) are marked with a C and the road number
General Road Rules in Spain
• Drive on the right
• The minimum age for driving a car in Spain is 18 years
• Seatbelts must be worn by the driver and all passengers
• The use of mobile phones and similar devices while driving is prohibited. An exception to this is when used with a hands-free device that does not have headphones or earphones
• The use of headphones and earphones is prohibited
• The driver must ensure that the vehicle’s number plates (placas de matricula) are visible
• Vehicle-owners are responsible for ensuring that non-licence-holders do not drive
• The use of equipment which aids or encourages the evasion of police traffic officials is illegal. It is prohibited to signal to other road users to warn them of a police control point or similar
• Car horns should not be used to signal in built-up areas, except to prevent accidents
• It is obligatory for all vehicles to be insured
Driving with Children
Driving in Spain – The driver is responsible for ensuring that all minors travelling in their vehicle are seated according to the law.
• Children under 12 years of age (or less than 135 cm in height) must sit in the back seats of a vehicle, unless an approved seat/restraint is used
• Children under three years of age (or weighing less than 18 kg) must be seated in an approved seat suitable for their height and weight
Children of under 12 years of age are forbidden to ride on motorbikes or mopeds. However, from the age of seven, a child may ride as a passenger provided that a helmet is worn and the driver is an adult who holds the correct licence
Speed Limits in Spain
Driving in Spain – Different minimum and maximum speed limits are set according to different types of road. Speed limits may be lower on some roads and will be signposted. Minimum speed limits are indicated on a round blue sign. Maximum speed limits are indicated on a round sign with a red border. On motorways, speed limits may also be indicated on overhead electronic signs.
• Motorway or toll roads: 60 Km/h minimum, 120 Km/h maximum
• Main trunk roads (roads with a paved verge of 1.5m or more in width, or with more than one lane): 50 Km/h minimum, 100 Km/h maximum
• Other main trunk roads: 45 Km/h minimum, 90 Km/h maximum
• Urban areas: 25 Km/h minimum, 50 Km/h maximum
Speeding fines may be given in person by a traffic official or sent to the address of the registered owner of the vehicle. The police may choose to impound the vehicle on the spot if the driver is found to be under the influence of alcohol or to have committed a severe driving offence, such as driving without a licence.
Drinking and Driving
In Spain, driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence and measures are taken to ensure that all drivers adhere to the rules. The legal maximum limits are:
•A blood alcohol level of 0.5 grams per litre
•A breath alcohol level of 0.25 miligrams per litre
•A blood alcohol level of 0.3 grams per litre, if the driver has been in possession of a licence for less than two years
•A breath alcohol level of 0.15 miligrams per litre, if the driver has been in possession of a licence for less than two years
NB: Speed cameras and traffic police surveillance teams ensure that drivers stay within the speed limits. Speed-detecting radars are signposted, but random control points are not.
Documents and Items to Carry in your Motorhome
Drivers are expected to carry the following items in their vehicle at all times and can be fined for not doing so:
• Inflated replacement tire and the tools to fit it
• Reflective vests for driver and passengers
• Two warning triangles
Drivers are expected to carry the following documentation in their vehicle at all times:
• Current driving licence (Permiso de Conducir)
• Vehicle logbook (Permiso de Circulación)
• ITV (Vehicle Inspection) paperwork. The roadworthiness sticker should be placed in a visible position on the windscreen
Although it is recommended that drivers carry original documents, certified photocopies are acceptable. Certification is considered legal if provided by an authorised notary, and some town halls and local traffic departments may also provide certified photocopies. Lamination of documentation is acceptable.
The following items and documents are not obligatory, but are recommended by the DGT:
• A spare set of bulbs, and tools to change them
• A receipt proving up-to-date payment of road tax
• The car insurance policy and receipt of payment
Buying Fuel in Spain
Fuel is sold at petrol stations (gasolinera) and is usually served by an attendant.
• Petrol – gasolina
• Unleaded Petrol – gasolina sin plomo
• Diesel – gasoleo
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