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Changes in Traffic Laws in Spain 

From the 1st January 2016 many traffic laws will be changed or adapted to fall in line with European laws and regulations. Some old laws from Spain will be adapted in order to fall in line with other European Countries and road users and it is hoped to make a safer driving environment throughout all the European Union. Some of course will have some people raising their eyebrows thinking that this particular law or regulation is questionable, but they will become mandatory as of the 1st January 2016.

One such change is related to mopeds and its riders who currently hold an AM category on their licence in order to be able to ride a moped. From January 2016 riders will be permitted to carry pillion riders regardless of their age, so long as the vehicle is adapted to do so. The previous age in Spain for the carriage of passengers on a moped was 18, as they were considered for all intense and purposes children.

From the 1st January the BTP category will be removed from Spanish licences to fall in line with other European member states. The BTP category, previously only used in Spain, covers certain people who driver specific vehicles i.e. taxi drivers, emergency service vehicles, or priority vehicles or those for school transport i.e. buses with a maximum permissible weight that did not exceed 3500kg mass and that the number of seats including that of the driver did not exceed nine. Drivers of these vehicles will still be permitted to drive such vehicles under their category B so long as all the other criteria has been met and adhered to. There is no need for anyone to apply to change a licence that shows this category as it will be done automatically at renewal.

Another change is that the so called “MEGA TRUCKS” up to 60 tonnes and 25.25 metres in length will now be permitted on Spain’s roads. This will mean that lorries with more than six axles will be permitted to travel through the European road network, although in some cases special permission will have to be obtained so that safety of other motorists can be safeguarded and checked. The main idea is that this will save costs which will hopefully be passed onto the consumers, we live in hope!

People who suffer from sleep apnoea will no longer be automatically banned from driving provided their medical condition is certifiably under control by a medical professional i.e. Doctor or Consultant of the patient.

Another major change is that in the sad event of a death occurring from a road traffic accident , the costs associated with the medical examinations and autopsies will be covered by the government, which is hoped will provide better investigative resources in a major incident, which of course does periodically happen.

There are many other changes too numerous to mention but we feel that these are some of the more important to everyday road users in Spain and Tenerife.

One important thing to remember is that when you have an accident or breakdown at the side of the road always take care to keep yourself and passengers safely away from oncoming traffic as drivers are often rubber necking, talking, or otherwise distracted and sometimes even texting and can cause another accident involving the already broken down or accident damaged cars.