Traffic Law in Spain

New measures come into force on May 25 (according to the Typically Spanish web site). Spain’s new traffic law comes into effect on May 25th, after being approved at the end of last year, and on Monday the Minister for the Interior, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, warned that life will be much more complicated for those drivers who do not pay their fines. Some parts of the Spanish media are referring to the new law as the ‘Express Fine Law’.
Rubalcaba said the new law was easier and simpler and more just than before and he talked of the discounts available for prompt payment several times. He said the plan was to reduce the time between the infraction and the payment of the fine, which is now between five months and two years, and to reach the 25% of drivers who have not been paying their fines by using longwinded administrative tricks.
If you pay your fine within 15 days you can get a 50% discount, provided you undertake to make no appeal. The main points of the new law are as follows. 1- The withdrawal of the driver’s licence, which currently takes place in serious and very serious infractions, will be cancelled. Under the old law some 100,000 licences were withdrawn every year.
2- The amount charged in fines will be made the same across the country, with a very serious infraction priced at 500 €, a serious infraction priced at 200 €, and the least serious infraction priced at 100 €.
3- Prison sentences will expire after four years has passed, and all the money collected in fines will be ring-fenced to be spent on road safety.
4- The number of offences which result in points being taken from a drivers licence is reduced from 27 to 20 as experience has shown that it makes no sense to have so many ways to lose points.
There are new fines under the new law…
1- Programming the GPS while driving will lose you points and is considered a serious fine
2- Having an unreadable number plate will not lose any points but is a serious fine
3- Parking in spaces reserved for disabled drivers will also be a serious fine
4- Allowing a person without a licence to drive your vehicle will not lose points but is a serious fine
5- For driving without lights and reflective elements in bicycles is the lowest fine and loses no points.
The Interior Minister said that the Guardia Civil will not impound the bikes of cyclists who don’t wear a helmet in town.
Although the new law comes into effect on May 25 the new computer systems which will handle the fines will not be operational until November 25. From that date onwards you will be able to be informed of your fine by email or SMS message, and instead of being published in the provincial bulletins the fines will be published instead on a webpage.
This is the third revision of the Ley de Tráfico approved by the Zapatero Government, and Rubalcaba said there will be no more changes. The Ministry of the Interior is to send a letter to the 25 million Spanish drivers to inform them of the changes with a leaflet which contains the main details.