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Daily news from the Canaries and the islands
   Daily news from the Canaries and the islands' biggest English language newspaper on-line

Traffic and Highway laws
The Spanish government recently made public its proposed changes to laws affecting all users of public highways.


Vice president Soraya Senz de Santamara, Public Administrations Minister, Cristbal Montoro, and Interior Minister Jorge Fernndez Daz at the presentation of the proposed changes
Vice president Soraya Senz de Santamara, Public Administrations Minister, Cristbal Montoro, and Interior Minister Jorge Fernndez Daz at the presentation of the proposed changes
© Moncloa

line
27.07.2013 - Although only in the preliminary stage, the proposals are expected to be made law by the beginning of next year.

Included in the probable updates is a doubling of the fine for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, from the present 500 to 1000, and an increase in the number of points given.

The use of the increasingly popular radar detectors used to avoid speed traps looks likely to be completely prohibited, and changes to seating laws for children in cars will also be introduced.   Previously, those under the age of three were not allowed to sit in the front of cars at all, and to a certain age older children had to have an adapted seat to be allowed in the front of the car.  The ruling criteria will no longer depend on age, but on height with one change being introduced immediately: those children over 135 centimetres tall will now be able to ride in the front in a normal seat.

The new laws will not only affect drivers of motor vehicles, however.  Cyclists under the age of 18 will probably be obliged to wear a helmet whilst riding on town and village roads as well as connecting roads, whilst the law looks to remain the same as before for adults, i.e. that they must be worn on the main connecting roads only though at the public presentation Interior Minister Jorge Fernndez Daz was quick to point out that this aspect of the law is still under debate, along with the child seating regulations, and may come in for a change later.

Pedestrians havent got off scot free either.   It is likely that those committing any type of infraction of the law will also be obliged to submit to an on-the-spot drugs and alcohol test, with the admittance of a saliva test being fully recognised as the legal drugs testing method as of now.   Anyone, driving or not, who is stopped on a public road for an infraction and who refuses to undertake the alcohol and drugs test will also be liable for a fine of 1000.

The harsher view on driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs was explained at the meeting by Road Security advisor Bartolom Vargas, who said that around 80 per cent of road accidents were avoidable and that drink and / or drugs were implicated in a high percentage of serious accidents.  



Gallery: Traffic and Highway laws
Vice president Soraya Senz de Santamara, Public Administrations Minister, Cristbal Montoro, and Interior Minister Jorge Fernndez Daz at the presentation of the proposed changes  
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