The use of two warnings triangles if your vehicle breaks down has been a legal requirement in Spain since 1999. These will now be phased out under the latest DGT plans to improve road safety.
At the moment, if a vehicle breaks down then the driver is supposed to aid other motorists by putting out two warning triangles. One goes 50m behind the stranded vehicle to warn traffic that there is a hazard ahead. If the vehicle is on a two-way road then the driver puts another triangle 50m in front of the vehicle to warn oncoming traffic.
A new law was passed earlier this year will see the replacement of the warning triangles with a flashing orange light. It comes into effect on 1 July 2021 although both means of advising other traffic will be legal until the end of 2024.
Tragically, between 2019 and 2020 twenty-eight road deaths occurred whilst people were getting out of their vehicle. This new method should reduce that figure.
PLEASE NOTE: From 1 January 2026 the V-16 warning light must also have a built-in geolocation. Older versions of the V16 device will have to be replaced. The geolocation system interacts with a DGT (Direccion General de Trafico) system which notifies the traffic authorities of the location of your vehicle.
The V16 emergency light can be placed on the roof which will avoid having to leave the safety of the vehicle in what could be a busy and dangerous road. They are fitted with a magnet to keep them in place.
Apart from emitting a flashing orange light to warn other traffic some models may also be fitted with a facility, through your mobile phone, to contact the emergency services or your insurer to communicate that you have had a breakdown or accident.
These new V16 emergency light is already available. In fact, we wrote a post about one of these products called help flash some time ago.
After 1 July 2021 there will be no need to carry the two warning triangles if you have a homologated V16 emergency light in Spain. However, it does not mean you have to go and buy a new light. The triangles will remain legal for several years yet.
This V16 emergency light is made by iWotto but there are many companies producing a similar product.
Make sure the product you buy is homologated. This means it meets the legal requirements set out by the Spanish authorities.
If it is homologated then you will be able to find the appropriate reference number on the body of the product. At the time of writing it would bear a number that starts LCOE…. or IDIADA PC…..
The iWotto emergency light shown here is homologated as is the help flash product we have discussed previously on this site.
What we liked about this product was it seemed to be made of quite robust plastic. We thought that would mean after the box gets lost or thrown away after the first use the item would remain in pretty good shape even if it spent a considerable amount of time unprotected in your glove box.
The iWotto product comes with the AAA batteries included.
To fit the batteries just turn the device upside down and unscrew the base.
Slot in the three batteries and then replace the base turning it in the opposite direction so it fits snug again.
The device can then be set upright and the large button in the centre pressed to start emitting the flashing orange light.
On the base of the iWotto V16 emergency light are two magnets. Without leaving the safety of your car you can wind down the window and place it on the roof.
We bought this product in the supermarket Carrefour for 13.90 euros. It is available on Amazon.es and the manufacturers website as well. It was more expensive on both of those websites. However, they supply it with the extra of a torch that is part of a head band.
Here is a link to the iwotta website but I found the product was cheaper to buy in Carrefour. Having said that, on the product manufacturers website it comes with the addition of a lamp on an elastic strap which you can wear on your head but to be honest I’m not that capable of fiddling under the bonnet of a modern car and would prefer to stay safely inside and call the breakdown service.