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Hazard warning triangle requirement dropped on Spain’s motorways and dual carriageways

By June 30, 2023July 4th, 2023No Comments

The DGT said the safety move, designed to help prevent accidents on the hardshoulders of the country’s busiest roads, would come into effect from Saturday 1 July.

Spain’s Directorate-General of Traffic (DGT) has forecast that there will be almost 95 million long-distance road journeys during the months of July and August this year, which is 1.75% more than the movements recorded last summer.

Special traffic regulation and control operations will be in place every weekend over the summer period, with special operations on the busiest weekends: 30 June-2 July; 28 July-1 August; 11-15 August; and 31 August-3 September.

One of the new features this summer is that from this Saturday 1 July it will no longer be compulsory to place warning triangles on motorways and dual carriageways in the event of an accident or breakdown. However, their use remains mandatory on conventional roads.

The DGT introduced the new exception due to the high number of people killed on motorways and dual carriageways in recent years. The average number of people killed after getting out of the vehicle in the last five years has been 22.

Other reasons are the traffic conditions on motorways and dual carriageways, where accident data indicates that driving on the hard shoulder, standing on it, trying to repair a breakdown or even placing and removing the triangles significantly increase the risk of being hit.

The DGT points out that some countries, such as the United Kingdom, have eliminated their use on expressways and others are considering it.

“In view of all these reasons, and taking into account that the placement of the warning triangles is not feasible on motorways and dual carriageways because it seriously compromises the safety of people their placement is exempted,” the DGT said. Instead, drivers will have to carry a V-16 emergency beacon in their car , an orange flashing light device placed on the roof of the vehicle and which replaces the traditional triangle.

On 1 January 2026, it will be compulsory for all drivers to carry the V-16 emergency beacons on their vehicles, which will put an end to warning triangles for good.

The DGT points out that summer traffic has different characteristics to that at other times of the year, with more vehicle traffic on secondary roads, an increase in night-time journeys, busy roads linking coastal towns and coastal tourist areas with beaches, more cyclists and pedestrians on the road, and more foreign-registered vehicles on the road whose drivers are not used to the routes.