An indicator of our time

An indicator of our time

Mysterious disappearance of indicators

In the vast and sometimes mystifying world of driving, there exists a peculiar phenomenon that has baffled me for years: the mysterious disappearance of indicators. Yes, those little flashing lights that are supposed to signal our intentions to turn left or right seem to have become an endangered species on the roads.

A lot of us will have read about the seriousness of the loss of the bee population throughout the world and in Spain and the efforts to repopulate these arthropods. Perhaps we are also aware of the drop in House and Eurasian Sparrow numbers as well as the threat of global warming.

Not to belittle these far more important concerns but has anyone noticed the downturn in the number of times a car indicator is used?

A indicator of our time

Indicator use increasing isolated to ITV centres

Picture this: you’re cruising down the motorway, minding your own business, when suddenly a car in front of you makes a sudden, unexpected manoeuvre. No signal, no warning—just a sudden veer into your lane, leaving you scrambling for the brakes and muttering expletives under your breath. Sound familiar? Of course, it does! It’s a scene straight out of every driver’s routine trips out with their vehicles.

Now some people are still able to locate the indicator stick amongst the knobs and buttons for cruise control and changing tracks on their latest Spotify playlist but they do seem to be a vanishing group. Their number is slipping down the barometer of life and appears to be heading towards the red list.

Think about it: How many times do you see someone use their indicators properly? If you do catch a glimpse of that elusive blinking light, chances are it’s been left on after a visit to the ITV centre, serving as a constant reminder of our collective failure to communicate effectively on the road.

Perhaps I am being too hard on these motorists? After all, navigating the complexities of modern driving can be a daunting task. Between dodging electric scooters, and mopeds passing each side of you as you look to pull out into traffic, avoiding people double parked when there is a parking space just 20m down the road, and trying to decipher the cryptic language of roundabouts, remembering to use your indicators might just be one step too far for some.

Reward the use of an inidcator with a smile

An indicator of our time

As we wrap up our journey through the perplexing world of disappearing indicators, one thing becomes abundantly clear: we’re witnessing a decline in blinker etiquette that rivals the plight of endangered species. While conservation efforts rightly focus on fauna and climate change, perhaps it’s time we extend our sympathy to the humble turn signal.

So, the next time you find yourself behind the wheel, remember the plight of the indicator—lost in the wilderness of modern driving. And if you do happen to spot one in the wild, blinking merrily away, give it a little smile of appreciation. After all, in this jungle of traffic, every blink counts.

Driving is Sharing

The DGT have launched a new road traffic campaign. It is called “Driving is sharing”.

Driving isn’t a solo act, folks! Many think they’re the lone rangers of the road, cruising through life with their steering skills as their shield against all perils. But let’s face it: road safety is a team sport!

That’s the gist behind the new awareness campaign that hit the airwaves recently, courtesy of the Traffic Department. With the catchy slogan “Over 40 million daily trips, yet some still think they’re driving solo,” they’re serving up a dose of reality. Through everyday scenarios, they’re showing drivers as both the problem and the solution.

In a friendly jab, they’re remixing Celine Dion’s classic “All By Myself” to showcase various drivers belting out tunes behind the wheel, thinking they own the road. But cue the reality check: the traffic jungle ain’t no solo gig, folks! Watch as their driving dreams collide with other cars, pedestrians, scooter riders, and whatnot.

The campaign, hitting screens and airwaves until April 12th, features TV spots ranging from 45 to 20 seconds, set to invade televisions, cinemas, and social media feeds. They’ve cooked up radio jingles, outdoor billboards, and print ads, along with bite-sized social media content, to drive the message home. So buckle up, amigos, and remember, it’s a highway, not your personal driveway!

Additionally, they’ve whipped up a webpage where users can play around with the campaign’s central concept, “you’re not alone,” through a video featuring a dual perspective. On one hand, you’ll experience the subjective view of the driver, complete with the campaign’s music. On the flip side, by hitting pause on the music, you’ll get a glimpse of the journey from the perspective of the other players: pedestrians, other cars, scooter riders, you name it. It’s like seeing the road through two sets of eyes, offering a quirky twist on the driving experience. So hop online and take a spin—it’s a wild ride!

How can you find out the correct air pressure for the tyres on your car?

correct air pressure for the tyres on your car
correct air pressure for the tyres on your car

The recommended tyre pressure for your car is usually found in the owner’s manual. Alternatively, on a sticker inside the driver’s door jamb, or on the inside of the fuel filler cap. It’s essential to follow these guidelines. This insures optimal performance, fuel efficiency, and safety.

Regularly checking and maintaining the right tyre pressure is a simple yet effective way to enhance safety, save money, and reduce environmental impact.

You should check your tyre pressure when the tyres are cold for the most accurate reading.

If you look at the above sticker you can see an arrow pointing down from the picture of the car. This shows the entries in the table below for front tyre pressure and rear tyre pressure.

You can also see on the left hand side of the table a drawing showing the load you are putting in your car. The first horizontal line shows what tyre pressures are front and rear for up to three people and light luggage. The second horizontal line on the table is if you have a maximum load in the car.

The table shows the two measures of pressure, bar and PSI. In Spain most tyre pumps are in bar. So if the vehicle with this sticker was carrying up to 3 people and light luggage you would make sure the tyre pressue was 2,5 (2.5 in English) for both the front and rear tyres.

Why is it important to maintain the correct air pressure for the tyres on your car?

  1. Safety: Proper tyre pressure enhances traction, reducing the risk of accidents, especially in wet or slippery conditions.
  2. Fuel Efficiency: Well-inflated tyres reduce rolling resistance, improving fuel efficiency and saving money on petrol/diesel.
  3. Tyre Longevity: Correct pressure helps distribute the vehicle’s weight evenly across the tyre tread, promoting even wear and extending tyre life. Tyre tread is one of the aspects that may be looked at in the regular ITV road safety checks.
  4. Handling and Performance: Adequate pressure ensures better vehicle handling, responsiveness, and overall performance.
  5. Reduced Carbon Emissions: Improved fuel efficiency results in lower carbon emissions, contributing to environmental sustainability.

Are Dash Cams Legal in Spain

Are dashcams legal in Spain


Dash Cams have become increasing popular over the years and are widely used in some countries.

Some people might want to use the Dash Cam to record their road trip. However, there is an increasing number of people who like the idea that the Dash Cam may help them in the event of a road accident.

The Dash Cam recording could help prove who was at fault in a road traffic accident. Without proof it is often one person’s word against the other. Without witnesses, police attendance or an incident that is clear cut, it sometimes leads to a frustrating outcome. Whilst it does not seem to be prolific in Spain, there are many social media videos out there where fraudsters step out in front of a vehicle in the hope of being able to make a claim against you and make some easy cash.

The question is though are Dash Cams Legal in Spain? Well, the short answer is yes, but you must be aware that Spain has some stringent Data Protection legislation. Please read the next section carefully.

Data Protection Law

The Data protection Laws in Spain prohibit the publication of photos and video of other people, without their express consent. Only the police and other emergency services are allowed to record images in public places. Unauthorised persons recording in public spaces could fall foul of the Agencia Española de Proteccion de Datos (AEPD) and receive a fine.

The images recorded by a Dash Cam can only be used for domestic use. If you were to publish them, for example on social media, then you would need the express consent of the people appearing in the images. Without it you would have to blur faces and disguise number plates and anything else that might lead to the people in the images being identifiable.

Recording images for your own use, a road trip record for example, is not illegal but continued recording could be considered surviellance and therefore fall under the Data Protection Laws in Spain. For example, if you left the camera on whilst the car was parked over night this could be considered video surveillance. Many banks, shops etcetera have a visible notice informing you that you are being recorded. These entities are registered with the AEPD and have to adhere to the Data protection Laws of Spain.

There was a story in the press last November of a man in A Coruña who left his Dash Cam recording the exterior to try and catch the person that was scratching his car. The police spotted the camera and the car was towed to the Municipal Compund. The owner of the car was hit with a 1,000 euro fine. The authorities concluded that the vehicle owner did not prove sufficient justification for the camera to be recording in a public place.

One of the issues is that under the Data protection laws in Spain people have a right to privacy. You cannot go round recording people indiscriminately. However, does the person who recorded the images on their Dash Cam have a legitiamte right to use those images as evidence, for example? This is a gray area and may boil down as to whether the recording is deemed to have met the prinicples of suitability and proportionality without violating the other parties rights under the data protection law.

Under the data protection law as it stands, an insurance company probably could not use the images directly but they could possibly be presented to a judicial court.


The installation of a DashCam in your vehicle is allowed but there are certain common sense rules that must be taken into account to ensure safe driving. The placement of the device should not interfere with your ability to drive the vehicle. The device should not obstruct your field of vision from the vehicle.

Using a Dash Cam

You must be careful not to manipulate your dash Cam whilst driving. The same as using your mobile phone whilst driving if you are switching on/off or using some other feature on your Dash cam whilst driving then you can be fined. The fine is 200 euros plus the loss of up to six points on your licence.

Will an insurance company accept the images or videos to help with an insurance claim?

With the data protection laws as they are in Spain it is currently unlikely that your insurance company will accept the video images recorded by a dashcam to assist with any insurance claim. This is because, as mentioned above, the recording of these images may breach the Data Protection laws in Spain. Use of these images could result in a fine for you and possible the insurance company.

Two of the issues here are:

1. The Data protection Laws in Spain prohibit the publication of photos and video of other people, without their express consent.

2. Continued recording could be considered surviellance and therefore fall under the Data Protection Laws in Spain. Instruction 1/2006 of the AEPD. If you are not registered then again you could fall foul of the law that is desgiend to protect people’s privacy.

Taking photos after an accident to help show your insurance company the damage and position of vehicles is fine. However, they are unlikely to want to see the video of the incident recorded by a dash cam.

This article has been produced in good faith to provide some answers to general questions regarding the use of Dash cams. It does not constitute any form of legal advice. The laws and their interpretation can change over time.

New road traffic laws Spain 2022

New road traffic laws Spain 2022

The congress of deputies approves new traffic laws

Legislation to amend the road traffic law in Spain have been approved by the Congress of Deputies and will come into effect three months after the publication of the official bulletin.

This will see and increase from 3 to 6 the points to be deducted in the case of holding a mobile in your hand whilst driving and 4 for not using the seat belt. This was previously 3 points.

The rate of 0gr / l in blood or 0mg / l of ehaled air is now included for motorists under 18.

The provision that passenger cars and motorcycles can exceed speed limits on convential roads by 20 km / h
when overtaking other vehciles is withdrawn.

Use intercom devices in the tests for the obtaining and recovering driving licenses, will incur a penalty of 500 euros and the applicant will not be able to re-test for a period of 6 months.

The objective of this normative modification is to update several precepts of the Law on penalty points, a tool that has proven effective in reducing the accident rate on the roads in Spain. However, it was necessary to update to improve the efficiency of the system, adapt it to the
times and reinforce road safety.

Main amendments to the road traffic laws in Spain


Increase from 3 to 6 the points for use of hand held mobile phones while driving. Since 2016, distractions behind the wheel have been the number one cause of fatal accidents (31%), in 2020. The proliferation of social media, Mobile dependence and immediacy are harmful elements while driving, therefore the penalty points has led to the Spanish authorities increasing the penalty points for this type of infraction. There is also a 200 euro fine.

Seat belt and other protection

Increases from 3 to 4 penalty points for not using a seatbelt properly or failure to use a child restraint system. Additionally, the same penalty if you fail to use a helmet where required. The fine is the same penalty of 200 euros.
1 in 4 deaths in a traffic accident still does not use the
seat belt.

More safety for cyclists

With an increase in the safety of cyclists in mind, one orads with more than one lane, you must change lane to pass cyclists. This is also the same for passing mopeds. Infactions now incur 6 penalty points rather than 4 penalty points when overtaking and endangering or hindering cyclists. For example, without leaving the mandatory minimum separation of 1.5m. The fine remains 200 euros.

Throwing objects form your vehicle

The penalty points for throwing objects from your car are now 6 points rather than 4. Cigarettes for example.

Alcohol limit for young drivers in Spain

Drivers under the age of 18 using any vehicle (mopeds, AM license, motorcycles up to 125cc, bicycles and personal mobility vehicles) may not circulate with an alcohol level greater than 0, both in blood and air exhaled.

Anti-start breathalysers

(Alcoholock) mandatory for motorcycles road passenger transport vehicles that are registered from 6 July 2022. These vehicles are required to have an alcohol ignition interlock.

Overtaking rule changes

The possibility of passenger cars and motorcycles legally exceeding the speed limits by 20 km / h on conventional roads when passing other vehicles is now withdrawn.
2 out of 3 fatal accidents occur on roads conventional. In 2019, for example, 239 died in a frontal collision on a conventional road.

Changes to the ITV Spain June 2021

changes to the itv test spain 2021
changes to the itv test spain 2021

From 1st June 2021 there are some small changes to the Spanish ITV test.

Until now if there was a fault with the anti-locking braking system this could have been deemed a minor defect. From now on any defect in the ABS system will be reported as a major fault.

Additionally, if the rear view mirrors are detached then this will also be noted as a major fault.

Faults are categorised as either mild, serious or very serious.  Serious faults will mean you have to get the vehicle repaired and re-tested within a certain time frame. Very serious means your vehicle cannot leave the ITV testing station under its own steam and you will have to organise for a tow truck to take it to the garage. For more information about the Spanish ITV visit our page or watch the video about the ITV in Spain.

The price of the ITV test in Spain varies depending on your vehicle and also on your location.

V16 Emergency Light Spain

v16 emergency light

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 and will see the replacement of the warning triangles with a flashing orange light. It came into effect in 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. Both types are available to purchase but if you are buying one or replacing one then we recommend you purchase one of the new connected type V16 warning lights.

v16 emergency light spain

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 the latest models are fitted with a facility, through connected technology. This technology will communicate the activation of the V16 warning light and give its geopositioning.

These new connected V16 lights are already available.

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.

v16 emergency light spain

Make sure the product you buy is homologated. This means it meets the legal requirements set out by the Spanish authorities. In addition, if you are buying it now then we recommend you buy the connceted type V16 light to avoid having to replace it again from 2026 when they must all be connected.

The connected types available include:

If you already possess a non-connected type it remains valid until 2 January 2026.

The V16 light is already widely available.

You can source the three indicated in the section above by following the weblinks provided there. Alternatively, you can purchase products from carrefour or Amazon for example. Again remember to opt for the “connected” models to avoid them being obsolete by 2026.

Can you overtake on the right in Spain?

Can you overtake on the right in Spain?

How often
have you been travelling on a motorway and seen another driving sitting in the
middle lane or even circulating in the left most lane whilst there is no
traffic in the right hand lane?

These “left
lane syndrome” suffers, as they are known in Spain, cause traffic queues,
sudden braking and sometimes accidents.   

The regulations

The driving
regulations on Spanish roads do not allow you to overtake using a right hand
lane, except in special circumstances mentioned below. Therefore, a vehicle in
the middle lane is taking up two lanes and one in the left hand lane is blocking
three lanes of traffic. Under normal traffic conditions in Spain, you should
always be circulating in the lane furthest to the right-hand side. If there is
a second and/or third lane to the left then these are used for overtaking. Once
an overtaking manoeuvre is complete, you should return to the right-hand lane once

We have probably
all come across a driver, travelling below the speed limit and using the left
hand lane whilst there is no traffic to the right. This can cause the driver
behind to brake suddenly causing a ripple effect with the vehicles behind or
even more serious consequences.

Fines and loss of points

The driver continuing to drive in the left lane whilst not overtaking traffic is breaking the road traffic laws. If caught they could be fined 200 euros. However, before you decide to pass on the right you should be aware it is also a serious infraction of article 82 of the Road Traffic regulations. Overtaking on the right may result in a fine of several hundred euros and the loss of four points from your driving licence.


One of the
few occasions you can pass on the right hand side of another vehicle is if you
are in a traffic jam. If the lanes of traffic are moving slowly, it might be
that at some stage the right hand lane moves slightly faster than the left hand
lane. This results in you overtaking traffic using the lane on the right hand
side of a motorway, for example. This is not an infraction of article 82 but does
depend on the density of traffic and speed.

example might be on a slip road when entering the motorway or when a certain
lane is designated for a particular type of vehicle to circulate.

Remember, you should circulate in the right hand lane unless you are overtaking another vehicle. Additionally, overtaking on the right is a serious traffic offence that can result in a fine and loss of points on your licence.

9000 drivers caught driving unsafe vehicles in a week

9000 drivers caught driving unsafe vehicles in a week

A vehicle in poor condition not only increases the risk of accident to its occupants but it is also an added danger to other road users.

In just one week 9,471 drivers have been denounced by the Guardia Civil agents for driving with their vehicle in an inadequate condition.

180,000 vehicles checked in 7 days

During the seven days of campaign, 183,838 vehicles of all types have been checked (cars, motorcycles, vans, trucks, buses …) and 10,121 offences were identified.

The purpose of the latest campaign was to check that vehicles were in a safe condition to be circulating on Spain’s roads. Specific focus was on safety measures such as tyres and vehicle lights and up to date ITV.

The proper maintenance of the vehicle is essential in road safety, especially when the average age of the vehicles in which the fatalities of interurban road accidents were traveling in 2018 was 13 years for cars, motorcycles 9.7 years and 14 , 6 years in the case of trucks up to 3,500 kg.


During the seven days, 169 vehicles were immobilized at the time of carrying out the control, among them, 52 trucks, 49 vans and 58 cars, because the conditions of the vehicles with which they circulated did not meet the minimum guarantees for them to do so safely.

Among the most important deficiencies that the agents have found on the road is vehicles circulating with an expired, unfavourable or negative ITV. This resulted in 4,457 offences.

tyre car insurance spain

Tyre pressure

Another of the essential safety elements are the tyres. 539 drivers were identified to have been driving with tread depth below the legal minimum of 1.6 mm; having irregular wear due to bad suspension or incorrect alignment or circulating with the wrong tyre pressure.

414 drivers have been sanctioned for faulty lights. 211 received fines for a damaged or visually impeded registration plate. In addition, another 773 drivers have been denounced for not carrying the mandatory documentation of the vehicle (driving licence, driving license and ITV card).

Excess weight

In respect of larger vehicles, 277 trucks and vans were found to be circulating with a weight greater than that allowed for the vehicle in question and another 216 circulated with an incorrect load conditioning.

Source: DGT

A reflective jacket and two warning triangles

If you break down in Spain, you should try to stop the vehicle out of the way of the traffic flow as much as possible. Put on your reflective jacket before stepping out of the car. That means your jacket needs to be reachable from the driver’s seat rather than rolled up into a ball and stuffed underneath the small tool kit and the oil can you have in the boot. The glove box is usually a good place to stow it.

You should organise setting out your red warning triangles. One should be placed fifty metres behind your broken down car. If the road is a two-way road rather than a motorway for example, then the second red warning triangle needs to be placed fifty metres in front of the vehicle.

This will warn vehicles coming from both directions that there is a problem ahead.

Ring your car insurance company in Spain for roadside assistance on your mobile phone. Tell them the road you are on and try and if on a motorway in which direction you are travelling. Most breakdown services offered by car insurance companies in Spain will arrive within the hour.

If you do not have a reflective jacket or warning triangles, then you could be fined by the police. This is more likely to happen on a motorway where the police are normally monitoring the traffic flow and can quickly identify a broken down vehicle. Their main intention will be to get you moved to safety and the traffic flowing freely again. However, failure to have the correct equipment in the car may lead them to add to your mechanical woes with a ticket for non-compliance with the road traffic laws.

Although not a legal requirement you might also want to consider buying a flashing warning light.

Nearly all policies include some form of accident and breakdown recovery as standard.