After many years of discussion and disagreement, on 31st of July, 2018, it entered into law in Spain that all emergency vehicles will use flashing blue lights.
The reform is published in Ministerial Order PCI / 810/2018, published in the BOE, modifying several Annexes to the General Vehicle Regulations -RD 2822/1998- among which is Annex XI, regarding the signal V-1 Priority Vehicle.
Until the publication of this reform, blue lights were restricted to the exclusive use of the security services, such as the police or Guardia Civil, with other priority vehicles, such as those used by the fire service or ambulances, would use flashing orange lights.
The flashing orange light is still used, and is carried by slow moving vehicles, those which constitute an obstacle in the road due to being stopped or parked or driving at a low speed while performing a service or work on the road. Previously, this situation generated some confusion amongst some road users by not clearly identifying the vehicles for fire fighting, health care and civil protection as priority vehicles in emergency service that also have priority.
Now, blue lights are reserved to signal all priority vehicles in emergency services and the orange for vehicles that constitute an obstacle in the road, which contributes to improving safe mobility.
The change also puts Spain on a par with the existing regulations in most of the States of the European Union, in which the luminous device of the priority vehicles is blue, in particular those of France and Portugal, which are the countries in which It is common that, in emergency situations, Spanish priority vehicles enter these countries and vice versa.
With the aim that this change can be made progressively, the Ministerial Order grants a period of two years for the owners of the affected vehicles to change the orange colour of their lighting devices to blue.