New rules for alcohol consumption in traffic and the use of electric scooters

by Lorraine Williamson
potential new rules

The Spanish traffic service DGT is preparing a new regulation that will lower the maximum blood alcohol level for drivers and establish new rules for the use of electric scooters.

Spain’s Interior Minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, pointed out that alcohol is the second leading cause of fatal accidents in Spain. Responsible for 29% of fatalities. This new regulation, which is still in the public hearings phase before going to the Council of Ministers, provides for a reduction in the alcohol limit for novice and professional drivers to 0.20 grams per litre of blood alcohol (compared to the current 0.30) and to 0.10 milligrams per litre of exhaled air (compared to the current 0.15).

Awareness-raising campaign and new measures

During the presentation of the new awareness-raising campaign entitled “A la carretera no le importa cuánto has bebido. Sólo cero tiene cero consecuencias”, the minister stressed the responsibility of drivers on the road to avoid road accidents. He also indicated that this campaign focuses on the consequences of alcohol and drug use behind the wheel.

Alcohol and drug checks

Grande-Marlaska also denounced some drivers’ habit of alerting to the location of alcohol and drug checks via social media and texting. He described this as “unsupportive and uncivilised”. According to him, it allows drunk drivers to bypass controls and potentially cause serious accidents.

In fact, he announced that he is studying ways to tighten the law to punish more forcefully those who warn of the location of alcohol and drug checks through social networks, a practice considered harmful to road safety policy. The Director General of Transport, Pere Navarro, recalled that the old practice of warning of the presence of the police with the lights of the car is prohibited and constitutes a serious crime.

New rules for e-scooters

Also, in order to increase the safety of users of electric scooters, the DGT will set a minimum age of 16 years and make the use of a helmet mandatory. Professional users will also have to wear a reflective vest. These measures are part of the General Highway Code, which enters the hearing and information phase before being submitted to the Council of Ministers.

Regulations for motorcyclists and cyclists

The proposal also includes new rules for motorcyclists and cyclists. The ordinance allows motorcyclists to ride on the hard shoulder in traffic jams. Wearing gloves and closed footwear is mandatory. Also, drivers who overtake cyclists must reduce their speed by at least 20 km/h compared to the set limit. Cyclists must wear luminous or reflective elements in poor visibility. In addition, buses are subject to a speed limit of 80 km/h when carrying standing passengers or passengers who are not wearing seat belts.

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