What Do The Green Lines Painted On Some Roads Mean?
Some areas have been testing them since January 2017, but given the success of the trial, you may see an increase in the Green Lines.
The Green Lines have no relevance to parking or lane restrictions. They are aimed, so far successfully, at increasing road safety through psychological influence. Using green paint on the roads has already been a proven method of Traffic Calming. Painting large areas which seemingly narrow tricks the brain into thinking that you are driving faster than you actually are; the result being an instinct to slow down.
The Green Lines are part of a pilot project in Spain, taking experiences in Sweden and The Netherlands where it has proved that these lines reduce the speed on the roads where they are painted. Many drivers associate them with speed controls resulting in the roads becoming safer without the need for enforcement.
Smoking Whilst Driving
It is currently not illegal to smoke whilst driving in Spain. However, the general consensus of opinion is that if there are children in the car, it should be. If fined whilst smoking, it is not the fact that you are smoking, but it is usually the distraction of taking the cigarette out of the packet or lighting the cigarette that causes the infringement. Throwing a cigarette out of the window is the most common infringement as this can have devastating results such as causing a fire.
The semFYC (Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine) is lobbying for an update on smoking laws. They want an increase in tobacco taxes, generic packaging, the protection of existing and increase in smoke-free spaces, a ban on cigarette advertising and financial support for treatment for those wishing to stop smoking.
Almost 20% of Spanish people smoke with the average number of cigarettes smoked being 11. The normal age of initiation is 17 years.
Startling Increases in Criminal Behaviour
During 2018, the Public Prosecutor’s Office opened a total of 110,651 criminal proceedings for crimes against road safety. Of all crimes dealt with last year, 62% were for alcohol or drugs consumption before driving. There were also 2,013 cases where people refused to give a blood sample. These figures imply that the message is not getting through about the dangers of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
There has also been an increase in people found driving without a licence or driving with an incorrect licence. Speeding is also a huge problem and there were 2,761 cases in 2018 for reckless driving.
Car Drivers Should Get More Options From July
Category B (private cars) drivers will be able to have more choice on what they drive from July.
The DGT has modified and improved the driving licence system in Spain including new rates, changes in the system of road training and examinations.
The Class B Licence will authorise holders with 2 year’s driving experience to drive some vehicles intended for the transport of goods with a mass of 3,500 to 4,250 kilos. This will enable authorised drivers to drive vehicles which can carry up to 8 passengers.
Since 2004, Class B drivers have been able to ride a 125cc motorcycle if it does not have a side car and if it does not exceed a power of 11kw. For anything over this, the driver must have qualified experience of 3 years.
The age limits are being reduced for some licences depending on the type of vehicle and use. For those wanting to drive buses and trucks, including articulated trucks, should be able to benefit from a reduction in the minimum training schedule on the risk factors associated with the type of vehicle that will be examined, so long as they then satisfy the exam requirements.