Staff Reporter BALEARIC traffic bosses are to set up new road by-laws with the aim of increasing safety, and ultimately of reducing the number of traffic accidents. Some of the most important changes affect a wide variety of road-user practices. l The use of mobile telephones whilst driving is only to be permitted if they avail a ”hands free” system The use of mobile telephones whilst driving is to become strictly prohibited, as is using any other system of communication whilst in motion, unless it can be used without removing hands from the steering wheel. l Banning of moving image screens from vehicle dashboards Any driver distractions are to be removed, such as Internet access screens, television monitors and video or DVD players. Exceptions to this ruling are the use of computerised monitors that are connected with the control of the car. l Radios and mobiles to be “off” during refuelling It has always been law that the car engine and lights be switched off when filling up with petrol. This is now extended to any electric or electromagnetic equipment.

· Ban on radar detection equipment
Installation of such devices in vehicles will be banned as will any other system for the detection of radar equipment being used by police officers as part of traffic control. Motorists are also prohibited from flashing their lights at oncoming vehicles to warn other drivers of imminent “speed traps”. l Use of the hard shoulders as an emergency measure
Authorisation is extended to all vehicles not exceeding 3'500 kilogrammes. In an emergency situation, a vehicle is now obliged to leave both motorways and dual carriageways at the first available exit. l Emergency lighting to be used if there is danger of other vehicles colliding
Before, there was no regulation but now it will be obligatory to use emergency lighting if a vehicle, for whatever reason, can't drive at the legal minimum speed and there is a risk of other traffic running into it.

· The use of luminous waist jackets
Drivers of private cars, buses, and heavy goods vehicles will have to put on such jackets if they are forced to stop on the hard shoulder of a major highway and get out. Private car users will be given a period of 6-months grace before they will have to comply with this ruling. l Pedestrians will not be allowed either on motorways or on dual carriageways
It is now banned to ”hitch-hike” on either dual carriageways or motorways.
· Moderate speed when nearing cyclists
Driving speed will have to be reduced, or brought to a halt, when drivers approach bicycle riders using specially designated cycling lanes. l Buses with standing passengers will have to go more slowly
A speed limit of 80 km/hour will be imposed on public buses who are carrying an authorised number of standing passengers.