Urban speed limits change on Monday across Spain

Top speeds permitted on roads in cities, towns, villages and other urban roads have been modified.

Friday 7th May 2021 – MIKE SMITH

On Monday 11th May 2021, speed limits on urban roads in Spain will change, according to the amendments made to the General Traffic Regulations in Royal Decree 970/2020, published in BOE No. 297 back in November 2020.

During 2017, more than 500 people died in Spanish cities, 80% of whom were pedestrians, cyclists, bikers and moped riders. Studies suggest that a reduction in speed helps to reduce the accident rate of this vulnerable group whilst not necessarily slowing down traffic in urban areas, since average speeds are not generally much higher than 20km/h.

Studies also suggest that the risk of death from a collision is reduced at least five times if the vehicle speed is 30km/h rather than 50km/h. Thus, the speed of a vehicle is directly related to the chances of survival of the victim of an accident.

Therefore, the First Article of the Royal Decree 970/2020, has described the modifications to Article 50 – Speed Limits on Urban Roads and Crossings – as follows:

  • Roads with a single lane that share the platform with the pavement: 20km/h.
  • Roads with a single lane in each direction: 30 km/h.
  • Roads with two or more lanes in each direction: 50 km/h.

These speed limits apply for roads running within cities, towns, villages and other urban areas. The municipal authority will be responsible for installing the appropriate signs displaying the speed limits and are authorized to take any necessary traffic-calming measures to ensure compliance.

For motorways and dual carriageways that run within an urban area, the speed limit will be 80 km/h, although this may be increased by the municipal authority and the owner of the road if appropriate and as long as it doesn’t exceed the limits for out-of-town roads.

Fines and Penalties

The following fines and penalty points will apply. It should be remembered, however, that there is a certain margin of error and it is very unlikely that drivers will be punished for going 1km/h faster than the speed limit.

For 20km/h zones

21 km/h – 40 km/h100€0 pts
41 km/h – 50 km/h300€2 pts
51 km/h – 70 km/h400€4 pts
61 km/h – 70 km/h500€6 pts
71 km/h plus600€6 pts

For 30km/h zones

31 km/h – 50 km/h100€0 pts
51 km/h – 60 km/h300€2 pts
61 km/h – 70 km/h400€4 pts
71 km/h – 80 km/h500€6 pts
81 km/h plus600€6 pts

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