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 Spain

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.

Help Flash 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 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.

V16 Emergency Light Spain
The V16 emergency light in Spain is already widely available. We sourced the iWotto product in Carrefour but it is also on the amazon.es. The Help Flash have three different levels of their product available on their website. The standard model is also available on amazon.es. There are many other manufacturers as well, including: Osram, Motorkit, Pocoya Drivelit safe as a few examples. Other businesses that stock at least one type of V16 emergency light are: Norauto, Fue Vert, Aurgi and Al Campo supermarket and even PC Componentes.

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.

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
more.

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.

Exceptions

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.

Another
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.

Immobilized

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.

Easter Traffic Operation

Easter Traffic Operation

With the start of Holy Week holidays for millions of citizens, the DGT started the first phase of the special Easter traffic operation.
 
The purpose was to order, regulate and give security to the 3.9 million long-distance journeys that will take place during those two and a half days.
 
Last year, 31 people were killed and 159 others were injured in Holy Week.

Extra vigilance for your protection

To avoid accidents, the DGT will deploy all the means at its disposal:
 
The first of them, the presence of more agents on the roads. There are an extra 400 civil guards on traffic duties. Last year there was a total of 8,800. This year a total of 9,200 traffic agents.

The 216 cameras that DGT has installed on the roads to control the use of the seatbelt, will also be used to systematically control and report the manual use of a mobile phone while driving. As can be seen in the image, the cameras capture the use of this device, so that any driver that is caught by this means will be denounced with a penalty of 200 euros and a penalty of three points deducted from their licence.

264 camouflaged vehicles that will travel along the roads and will monitor compliance with the traffic regulations, with special emphasis on monitoring the use of the mobile at the wheel. Plus

The eye in the sky


To monitor compliance with speed limits, the 724 fixed speed control points will add the 557 mobile radars that go in vehicles of the Traffic Group.

From the air there will be 10 operational helicopters and 8 drones prepared to monitor and regulate the roads.

Intensification of alcohol and drug controls In the last Easter Week, 4 out of every 10 people that died had used alcohol above the permitted limit. The rest of the year the percentage of positive is 1 in 4.

All these means are aimed at preventing accidents, since distractions, especially the manual use of the mobile, speed, alcohol and non-use of the seat belt are the main causes of road deaths.
 

100 died because of the imprudence of others last year

As a consequence of these factors, more than a hundred people die in a traffic accident, who were in compliance with the regulations and who had a correct roadside behavior, but because of the imprudence of others, their lives and those of their associates were cut short.

Seatbelt and child seat police campaign

Seatbelt and child seat police campaign

The Dirección general de Trafico (DGT) currently has a campaign to monitor use of seatbelts and car seats underway.

Statistics show that use of seatbelts could reduce fatalaties in road traffic accidents by a further 25%.

Despite the well-known safety benefits of using a seatbelt there are still an element of the population that don’t use them. If they are fitted in the rear seats in Spain then they must also be used.

Details of child seats in Spain can be found here.

Reduce the danger to you and others if you breakdown with a help flash warning light

Help Flash V16 Emergency Light Spain

Have you ever thought that if you broke down that putting out your warning triangle 50 metres behind and in front of your car might put you in significant danger?

Well, a Spanish company called Netun Solutions are marketing a product that could take that concern away. Help flash is a safety light that you can store in your glove compartment and bring out when you breakdown or have an accident.

It is magnetic so can be stuck on the top of the car.  Once in contact with the metal it will automatically display an orange flashing light. The light is visible for up to a kilometre away.

Although not specifically designed for disabled or pregnant drivers the benefits are obvious. Placing a warning triangle fifty metres behind and/or in front of your vehicle is all the more difficult for people in these situations.

help flash promotional video

The light is weatherproof and is powered by a 9v battery. It has up to two and a half hours battery life, which is much more than it usually takes for a breakdown truck to rescue you.

help flash complies with the vehicle regulations in Spain and is a recognized danger signaling device.

The law hasn’t done away with the warning triangles yet. However, it is now up to the driver to decide whether it is safe to leave the vehicle and place the warning triangle 50 metres behind the vehicle. If the driver is not convinced it is safe to do so then he can put his Help Flash light on top of the vehicle and stay inside with seatbelts fastened.

Motorbikes don’t have warning triangles but they could use help flash

It is also possible for motorcyclists to use the product. They of course don’t have warning triangles. The light can be attached magnetically to the bike or a crash barrier at the side.

The product is available to by directly from the company and it is also available on amazon.es

Aquaplaning

Aquaplaning car insurance spain

During the winter months Spain can be subjected to some very heavy rain. On some occasions. rather than a prolonged consistent rainfall it can be quick and torrential with a huge amount of water falling in a very short space of time. Weather a downpour or a steady stream of rain the result can be standing water on roads, which is an obvious danger to the motorist.

It might seem obvious but in wet conditions the first thing you should do is reduce your speed.  The vehicle grips the road through the tyre and when the road is wet the tyre has less adhesion to the road. The result is it takes longer to slow down. So reduce your speed and remember to respect the distance between you and the vehicles in front. If it is going to take longer to slow down, then the gap between you and the vehicles ahead should be increased.

How does aquaplaning happen?

One of the problems of water on the road is that it can accumulate in front of your tyres and build up quicker than the tyre and weight of the vehicle can disperse it. The result is that a layer of water builds up under the tyre and you lose contact with the road. The problem is enhanced the faster you are driving and the deeper the water but there are also other factors that influence the possible chances of aquaplaning which we will come on to. Further danger occurs when you suddenly come across a puddle which can be difficult to see.

If you lose contact with the road surface due to aquaplaning, you will hear the engine noise increase and the wheels will start spinning. This can be particularly dangerous if you are cornering as you will begin to skid. If the vehicle has slid and the tyres regain traction, then the vehicle may suddenly jolt as it corrects its trajectory to the direction of the tyres.

How to recover from aquaplaning

If you start to lose control of the vehicle due to aquaplaning and you are travelling in a straight line, then ease off the accelerator to give the vehicle a chance to regain grip of the tarmac. Trying to change direction may cause the vehicle to slide. If you need to brake, then do it calmly as the vehicle could become unstable.

If the phenomenon occurs whilst you are turning or you start to skid, then take your foot off the accelerator and despite your natural reactions, turn the steering wheel gently in the direction of the slide as this should help you regain grip.

Once you have recovered control of the vehicle pull in somewhere safely and catch your breath for a few minutes.

How to avoid aquaplaning

As always the best advice is to avoid the situation in the first place. If there is a lot of rain do you need to drive your vehicle at all?

Reduce your speed.

Increase the distance between you and vehicle in front.

You can also reduce the chances of aquaplaning by ensuring your tyres are roadworthy.  Worn tyres will be more susceptible to aquaplaning. Under inflated tyres can also increase the problem, so you should check tyre pressure regularly.

Speed limits change on Spanish roads

In the spring of 2019, the speed limits in Spain will change.  The Law is being passed that will see a simplification of the current speed limits. The change will mean that cars, motorcycles and buses will be limited to 90 kph on conventional roads, whilst all other vehicles must travel at a speed of no more than 80 kph. An exception will be where the conventional road has a physical separation between to two opposing flows of traffic. In this case, the maximum speed limit will be 100 kph for cars and motorcycles.

You can exceed the 90 kph limit in a car or motorcycle if you are overtaking a vehicle on a conventional road. In fact, you can increase your speed to 110 kph to overtake but then must fall back to the speed limit. The idea is to allow swift and safe overtaking, however, you can only exceed the normal speed limit if the vehicle you overtake is not driving already at 90 kph. If the vehicle in front is doing 80 kph for eaxmple you can temporarily exceed the speed limit. If the vehcile in front is already doing 90 kph then you have no right to increase your velocity to overtake.

On a motorway, there will be three speed limits. Cars a motorcycles will continue to be allowed to travel at 120 kph. Trucks and vans will be restricted to a maximum of 90 kph. The remainder of vehicles will have a maximum limit of 100 kph and this includes buses.

The reasoning behind the reduction in speed limits relates to the Directorate deTrafico (DGT) goal of further reducing the number of road deaths. There are numerous studies linking speed with road deaths. This amendment to speed limits is estimated to reduce the number of casualties by a further 10%.

Accidents on conventional roads is twice as high as those on motorways so it seems logicalthat this is an area the DGT look at.

Sweden recently reduced the speed limit in their country from 90 kph to 80 kph which saw a huge 41% reduction in road deaths.

It is also worth noting that the speed indicated on the sign is the maximum allowed and is not necessarily a target.

Have you seen a speed limit in a square sign with a blue background? Well this sign is used to recommend a maximum speed limit. This is not the same as the round sign with a red border which indicates the maximum you are allowed to travel at. The blue background is a recommendation.