Were you aware that the driving regulations for motorists and cyclists changed last Friday? There are a number of new laws that you all need to know about particularly if you travel about by car or on two wheels. Sanctions are tougher, but it is easier to pay them (if that’s any consolation). Here are the most important new rules that you must bear in mind when travelling around.

Speed limits

The maximum speed limit has increased to 130km/h in certain sections of the motorway, which will be indicated.

The maximum speed limit on regular roads will be 90km/h.

There is talk of creating 20 and 30km/h zones in a town or city centre, but this is yet to be passed.

Sanctions

From now on, those caught with alcohol in their system will have to pay out much more in sanctions.

For those with more than double the limit of alcohol allowed, those with prior drink-driving convictions, or anyone refusing to take a breathalyser test will face a sanction of 1,000 euro (previously 500 euro) and will lose 6 points on their licence.

However, offenders will now have 20 natural days, instead of 15, to pay their fine with a 50% discount.

The sanction for being caught driving under the influence of drugs is now 1,000 euro as well.

It is now possible to receive a fine for a driving offence without even being stopped by a police officer if the officer is unable to pursue the driver.

Cyclists

Cyclists under the age of 16 must use a helmet at all times, including in a city centre.

Everyone else must wear a helmet on all other roads except in the city centre.

Cyclists are permitted to drive below the minimum speed limit.

The police cannot seize a person’s bike even if the cyclist has been fined for an offence which would mean seizure of the vehicle in the same instance.

Other points to consider

Vehicles transporting children without the correct safety seats and belts can be immobilised by the police.

Children are not permitted to travel in the front unless the seats in the back of the car are occupied by other children.

Radar detectors are illegal and if caught using one motorists will be fined 200 euro and lose 3 points on their licence. Radar warning devices are allowed.

Foreign residents must change their car’s licence plates over to Spanish plates and register them in Spain. This is now obligatory.

The above is not the full list, but does include the main points. If you want to find out more, visit the State website for traffic and driving regulations at www.dgt.es.

– See more at: http://www.onthepulse.es/new-laws/new-spanish-traffic-law-force-tougher-sanctions#sthash.WdtHhsC6.dpuf