New limits in cities and no skateboards on the pavements: changes in traffic regulations

It has done so through Royal Decree 970/2020 and Royal Decree 971/2020, which respectively modify the General Regulations on Traffic and the General Regulations on Vehicles, on the one hand, and the General Regulations on Drivers, on the other.

New speed limits in the city and regulation of scooters

The DGT will reduce the maximum speed in the city to 30 km/h in 2021.

  • 20 km/h on roads with a single road and pavement platform.
  • 30 km/h on single-lane roads in each direction of traffic.
  • 50 km/h on roads with two or more lanes in each direction of traffic

This measure will enter into force on 11 May 2021, six months after its publication in the Official State Gazette.

The other significant change is that, from 2 January 2021, electric scooters will be considered as vehicles, so they will not automatically be able to drive on pavements or in pedestrian areas, intercity roads, motorways or highways within towns and urban tunnels. If they do so, they may be fined up to 200 euros.

They will have to comply with the traffic regulations like all other vehicles – they will have to take breathalyser tests, not use headphones, etc.

No licence is required to drive these vehicles, but you must have a certificate stating that you meet the necessary technical requirements.

In practice, these certificates will be issued by the manufacturers and sales companies. A characteristics manual will also be required, which will be drawn up by the Directorate General of Traffic, indicating the classification of the vehicle and the mechanisms to be used for its easy identification.

The other significant change establishes that, as of 2 January, another of the main novelties of the reform of the Traffic Law involves tougher penalties for reckless drivers:

  • Use of the mobile phone at the wheel: driving while holding the mobile phone with one hand will now cost six points.
  • Not using the seat belt, the helmet in the case of motorbikes and child restraint systems, or not using them correctly (for example, helmet or belt not fastened) will cost four points
  • Radar detectors: wearing radar detection mechanisms in the vehicle will be fined 500 euros and loss of three points regardless of whether they are switched on or off.
  • Maximum speed when overtaking: it will not be possible to exceed the maximum speed of the road for overtaking on conventional roads. Previously it was possible to exceed it by 20 km/h.

All these changes will be effective from the 2nd of January.