This summer, traffic controls in Spain by motorcycle police officers in plain clothes

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traffic controls

The Spanish traffic service DGT announces new traffic controls including motorcycle officers in plain clothes. More than 16 million trips are expected on Spanish roads during the busy Easter week. In an interview with El País, the general director of the traffic service gives his traffic view.

Wednesday before Easter is the busiest day of the year on Spanish roads

During Semana Santa, various messages can be seen on the overhead gantries, pointing out the risk of accidents due to the crowds on the road. Like every year, the Wednesday before Easter is the busiest day of the year on the Spanish highways. There is also heavy traffic every year on Easter Sunday, when everyone returns home.

Thanks to the many radar checks, the speed limit is well observed in most places. Yet the general manager of DGT warns motorcyclists in particular. He points out that one in four road fatalities is a motorcyclist.

More and other traffic controls next year

The Spanish traffic service wants to install 88 new radars next year. Compared to other European countries, Spain has few radar controls. However, that is not the only reason to install more cameras. The fixed speed controls are mainly intended to make traffic safer. In addition, there are more and more section checks, where speed is checked over a certain distance. These checks are always announced before the camera check starts.

Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to traffic accidents

DBT now seems to focus mainly on preventing motorcycle accidents. Given the 37% motorcycle casualty rate, this is a logical choice. DGT expects to introduce mandatory driving tests for drivers of 125 cc motorcycles during this government period.

New rules for electric scooters in the making

Nowadays, electric scooters have become an indispensable part of the urban street scene. The Spanish traffic service also predicts new regulations for this. The handy means of transport is no longer allowed on main roads and pavements and there is a maximum speed of 25 kilometres per hour. In the near future, the use of a helmet on scooters will become mandatory and a minimum age of 16 will apply. Compulsory insurance is still being debated.

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Next summer, traffic checks by motorcycle police officers in plain clothes

New this year is DGT’s intention to use traffic checks by plainclothes motorcycle officers. These will mainly take place at weekends and in areas where many accidents occur. In addition, a new rule will come into effect in winter that prohibits using the left lane during heavy snowfall. This rule offers gritters and emergency services the opportunity to drive freely.

Alcohol is often involved in traffic accidents

Spain had no fewer than 1,145 road deaths in 2023. Additional alcohol checks will therefore take place in the short term, because it appears that alcohol is involved in 42% of accidents. For the longer term, solutions are being sought in smart technology in cars, which allows cars to ‘think and intervene’ themselves.

Road safety tips

Traffic controls and plainclothes motorcycle officers are a means, not a solution. The general manager of DGT therefore has some tips for the many road users during Semana Santa, when a large proportion of Spaniards are on holiday: “First of all, enjoy the well-deserved rest and don’t ruin it on the road. Second, it’s not worth the risk. The rest is something we all know: wear your seat belt; if you drink, don’t drive; avoid distractions and especially for motorcyclists, be extra careful.

Driving is sharing

This year’s traffic campaign speaks for itself: driving is sharing. Road safety is about the values behind it. It is a shared responsibility. We share the public road with many, so be prepared to share it. If everyone follows the rules, we all benefit. When individualism and selfishness prevail, traffic becomes chaos and we are all losers.”

Also read: New rules for motorcyclists and young people in Spain

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