How To Check Your Points Online
The penalty points system in Spain was introduced in July 2016, not only to penalise poor driving, but also to award those who drive safer. The system is the opposite to that of the UK, in so much as if you commit an offence you will be given points on your licence. In Spain you are given an allocation which are then taken away in the event of committing an infraction. Lose all your points and the licence is withdrawn.
Good driving over a period of time will result in you being given more points as a reward and points can also be recovered through educational courses.
If you have a Spanish driving licence you can check how many points you have via their secure website. Visit the traffic department’s official website www.dgt.es, but the majority of it is in Spanish. In the middle column, under the title Trámites’, a line which says, ‘¿Cuantos puntos tengo?’ Click on this line and a new page will open with a list of articles offering advice about the system, including how to recover points, ‘Consulta de Puntos’. Click on that link and you will be taken to a secure portal where you can access the information, but before you do, the system needs verification of your identity, in order to protect your data.
You are given three option, access ‘Cl@ve’, a form of secure digital key, through ‘Certificado’, another form of secure digital signature and the third most likely option you will want is, ‘Consulta Saldo de Puntos (con usuario y contraseña)’, consult your points with a user name and password.
If you have either of the digital keys you are probably already more advanced and should be able to access the system yourself, so here is the third option. Click on the line which says, ‘Consulta de Puntos Con Usuario y Contraseña’. Another page will open: the top section asks you to submit your user name and password, but you need to register first. You need to copy the secure captcha code (odd looking string of letters and numbers) into the relevant box, then press the big yellow button at the bottom. A new page appears will ask for your NIE. You must submit this and the date of issue of your original driving licence. Complete both these boxes and click ‘Siguente’. The system will check if the information corresponds to what they have on file.
Assuming everything is correct, a new page appears which will ask you to submit your email address, which you must do twice to confirm it is correct. Click ‘Enviar’ to submit the information.
You should receive an email with the subject, ‘Confirmación de acceso Permiso por Puntos de la DGT’. This will contain a link which you can click to confirm that the email address you associated with your information is correct. Once you have clicked the link you will get another entitled, ‘Clave de acceso Permiso por Puntos de la DGT’. This email will contain a temporary password. Go back to the website and use your secure user name, generate a password, which you must change the first time you access the site. You will now have access to the secure site, which you can check at any time.
The Sound of Silence
All electric vehicles sold in the EU must emit a noise when travelling at 20km/hr or less.
The legislation aims at making it easier for other road users, such as pedestrians, to be aware of the presence of the vehicles which may otherwise approach in silence. Generally, the noise of traffic is something we have all become accustomed to, despite the all too frequent incidents when pedestrians are distracted by a mobile phone or music.
Modern electric cars can approach in silence, especially when travelling at low speeds, as even the wheels making contact with the road surface can be very quiet. Now, these vehicles must emit a noise so that their presence can be heard. The noise must be at least 56 decibels. There is no mention as to what the noise must sound like, so it could be that vehicle manufacturers replicate the noise of a combustion engine, a clown car horn, a mosquito, a squeaky wheel, or a Boeing 737.
Many electric cars already have a noise creation feature installed.
10 Dangerous Infractions
With the warm weather, an increase in motorbikes on the road is a reminder of the vulnerability of two-wheeled road users. However, we must be aware that motorcyclists play a part in their own road safety and should be aware of the dangers they can put themselves in whilst on the road.
Inappropriate speed is the primary cause of incidents involving motorcycles; a factor which is primarily the responsibility of the rider themselves.
The motorcycle is an agile and practical vehicle in urban traffic and pleasant to ride on roads. Its construction with little bodywork, offers a different experience to the driver and passenger, but also little protection. D a two-wheeled vehicle requires continuous concentration and anticipation, complete knowledge and strict compliance with traffic regulations. Avoiding certain unregulated manoeuvres and, above all, dangerous ones, increases safety and comfort for both the rider and other road users.
Overtaking Without Separation
Motorcyclists should distance themselves laterally from the vehicle they are overtaking. On the open road, where the speed of traffic can be high, the lateral safety distance must be at least 1½ metres to avoid possible conflicts with other vehicles.
Adapting speed to the road and the conditions is arguably more important when on a motorcycle. Excessive speed, or even inappropriately slow, can put the rider at extreme risk. Inappropriate speed is the main cause of injury involving motorcycles. 23% of accidents and speeding are the most frequent violations committed by motorcycle riders.
Driving On The Hard Shoulder
As a general rule, drivers of motorcycles (and cars) are prohibited from driving on the hard shoulder. They can occupy it for an emergency, or if creating an undue hazard for other road users, but using the hard shoulder for other purposes such as overtaking traffic is a misuse and sanctionable. Mopeds are permitted to ride on the hard shoulder, but not motorbikes.
Overtaking On The Right
Overtaking on the right in interurban areas (roads, highways or motorways) is forbidden as it can be very risky if the vehicle being overtaken intends to return to the right lane. The risk is greater for a two-wheeled vehicle as they are less visible and more unstable.
Changing Direction Illegally
This manoeuvre must be performed where it is safe, in the time and space essential when signalling in advance. It is forbidden on level crossings, tunnels, motorways, curves and changes of gradient with poor visibility.
Riding With Lights
The front and rear lighting makes a motorcycle more visible. For this reason, motorcycles must have their lights on at all time, night and day.
Overtaking Between Cars
Motorcycles must travel to be visible in the centre of their lane, which they may abandon only to overtake, turn, change lanes etc. Moving between vehicles is risky, as vehicles and movements are unpredictable.
Parking On The Pavement
Pavements, walkways and other pedestrian areas are places where motorcycles and other motor vehicles are prohibited from parking. However, municipalities can regulate stopping and parking for two-wheeled vehicles, as long as they do not interfere with or endanger pedestrian traffic.
Excessive Speed In Residential Areas
The agility and manoeuvrability of the motorcycle can cause a false sense of control in residential streets, near pedestrian crossings, schools or markets, where the emergence of pedestrians on the road can be continuous and unforeseen. Drivers must reduce speed as much as necessary.
Invading The Opposite Direction
Motorcycle riders may be tempted to invade the opposite direction to move more quickly down a standing street. Even doing so for just a few metres can be considered a serious infraction, with a 500€ fine and six points.