Faster Autovías; Slower Roads

The previous Government reduced the maximum speed on the nation’s autovìas from 120 to 110 kph, but it was it soon revoked. Now the present Government has decided to raise it to 130 kph on certain stretches.

But while that might please most drivers, the decision to reduce speed limits on main roads further will not. Conventional roads, like the N-340, where the limit varies between 90 and 100 kph, depending on the width of the hard shoulder, could well see 70-kph limits imposed.

Before you panic, read on: where the main road has a hard shoulder of at least 1.5m on both sides, the speed will be reduced to 90 from 100 kph. Roads that previously permitted a maximum of 90 kph; i.e., of less that 6.5 metres in width, the speed limit will be reduced to 70, as long as the centre is clearly marked with white lines; where not, the maximum could well be as little as 50 kph. If you would like an example, think of the back road from Granada to Almuñécar, commonly known as the Cabra

The biggest change will be in built-up areas where the 50-kpm limits will be reduced to 30 kph, as requested by associations for road-accident victims and ecologist groups. However, where the street has no pedestrian pavement, the maximum will be 20 kph.

Other changes included are everybody in a car, including taxi drivers, will have to wear a seat belt. Children less than 1.35m in height cannot travel in the front seat and finally, children under four years of age must go in special seats, fitted backwards so that the child is facing towards the back of the car.

This last measure has raised some criticism as children are becoming progressively larger for their ages, meaning that a large child over three but under four, won’t have room for his feet without putting them up on the back of the back seat.

Anyway, this is a draft bill at the moment but it looks to be coming into effect before the summer.

(New: Spain)