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As the latest changes to the road traffic laws came into force recently, the DGT traffic department has now begun a consultation period for the latest developments and changes to the rules of the roads.
Significantly, having allowed the provision to increase the speed on some motorways to 130 kilometres per hour, these latest changes would bring that long awaited change into force. However, the increase would only be on certain stretches of roads and during optimum weather conditions.
Another long campaigned change is included in this latest proposed reform, with even the PSOE proposing the change in 2010, the increase in permitted speed for motor homes. Under the proposal, campervans will no longer be restricted to 90 kilometres per hour, but will be permitted to travel at 120 kilometres per hour on motorways, and 90 kilometres per hour on secondary roads, where the current limit is 80. There are certain conditions over size and weight, but the rules would principally designate smaller motor homes as cars.
One type of vehicle that would be forced to slow down by the reform is buses which carry standees or do not have seat belts installed, with those vehicle will be restricted to a maximum of 80 kilometres per hour.
On conventional roads, the speed limit for cars, motorbikes and quads will be reduced from 100 kilometres to a maximum of 90 kilometres per hour when driving on a road with a width of at least 6.5 meters and from 90 to 70 km on narrower roads. Similarly, the limit on secondary unpaved roads cannot, under any circumstances, be more than 30 kilometres per hour.
As for the cities, the current generic limit of 50 kilometres per hour is maintained when the streets have more than one lane in each direction. If there is a single carriageway or one-way traffic with one lane in each direction, the limit drops to 30 kilometres per hour and on some urban roads the limit will be 20.
Furthermore, the preamble of the draft rules of the road explained that urban mobility has changed in recent years with “the loss of prominence of the motor vehicle and, on the contrary, the rise of other ways to get around” such as cycling.
Therefore, “In urban areas, the motor vehicle begins to stop being the protagonist, giving way to a shared use of the road where pedestrians and cyclists begin to have special importance”. One rule which may well be of concern to those less observant road users includes a clause whereas on urban roads, cyclists may “overtake and pass other vehicles on the right or left, whichever is most convenient to security”.
However, there are also restrictions as to where cyclists must ride on the road, which may well limit the curse of multiple cyclists side by side preventing other road users to pass, as the rule clearly forces cyclists to move to the right on certain streets.
The draft laws also prohibit pedestrians from walking on bike paths, except to cross them, require drivers to slow down when cyclists are at roundabouts and bicycle users may carry trailers for children.
Once the consultation period for these latest reforms are over, the final draft will be published in the State Gazette, before finally entering into law shortly afterwards.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/43906/

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