Van and lorry drivers in Spain – take note!

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TRUCK CHECKS: The Guardia Civil can check vehicles from across the continent.


MANY PEOPLE have been confused by the speed limits on Spanish roads, which is why one of the most recent changes to the law sought to create standardisation.

However, despite this, the maximum permitted speed limit is actually determined by three factors, the road, the vehicle and the driver.

Last week, Spain joined most countries in the European Union focussing on some of the bigger vehicles that move through the continent’s road network, namely lorries, buses and vans.

Distraction is one of the main causes of incidents involving this type of vehicle, and with 13 per cent of all incidents involving a van, 11 per cent involving a lorry, the importance of campaigns like this is clear.

According to the most recent data published by the European Road Safety Observatory (ERSO), in 2016, approximately 4,000 people died in a traffic incident involving a cargo vehicle of more than 3.5 tonnes and there were 600 incidents in which a bus was involved.

The average mortality rate in the EU in incidents related to heavy vehicles is 8.1 per million inhabitants and 1.2 per million inhabitants for bus or coach incidents, which in the case of Spain is 6.1 and 1.4 respectively.

In 2017, vans were involved in 11,150 injury incidents in which 243 people died. Regarding lorries of more than 3,500 kg and buses, they were involved in 6,351 incidents with victims, in which 364 people died.

Since January, 2019, the maximum permitted speed on conventional roads is 90 kilometres per hour, where no other restriction is enforced, although there are further restrictions for these types of vehicles.

Trucks, articulated tractor trucks, vans, motor homes with a maximum authorised mass exceeding 3,500 kg, articulated vehicles, cars with trailers and other vehicles are limited to a maximum of 90 kilometres per hour on the motorway, and 80 kilometres per hour on conventional roads.

Buses, vehicles derived from cars and adaptable mixed vehicles are restricted to a maximum permitted speed of 100 kilometres per hour on motorways and 90 kilometres per hour on conventional roads, although other restrictions also apply, such as if they are carrying standing passengers or operating as school buses.

For cars, this limit is 120 kilometres per hour on motorways and 90 kilometres per hour on conventional roads.

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