On March 21 the new Traffic Law comes into force | - EFE

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On March 21 the new Traffic Law comes into force which will bring a number of changes and much tougher penalties. The Director General of Traffic (DGT) has launched an information campaign entitled “New times. New rules” with the aim of explaining to the public the most important changes drivers will face.

The DGT has created a specific web page on its website outlining all of the changes and modifications to the regulations; some of the key new rules are:

Seat belts
The penalty for not wearing a seat belt or wearing it incorrectly will be increased from three to four points taken off the licence. The offence is the same for improper fitting of child restraint or child protection equipment. The fine remains at 200 euros.

Distractions at the wheel
The penalty for the use of mobile phones increases from three to six points for distractions at the wheel. Distractions refer to talking on the phone, answering messages and manipulating the device for whatever reason. The fine is 200 euros.

Overtaking
The possibility for cars and motorbikes to exceed the speed limit on conventional roads by 20 km/h when overtaking other vehicles is going to be abolished.

Blood alcohol level
Under-age drivers of any vehicle (mopeds, motorbikes up to 125cc, bicycles and personal mobility vehicles such as electric scooters) may not drive with a blood or breath alcohol level above 0.

For drivers in general it is 0.5 grams per litre of blood (or 0.25 milligrams per litre of exhaled air), and 0.3 grams per litre of blood (or 0.15 milligrams per litre of exhaled air) for new and professional drivers.

Period for recovering licence points
The period of time that must elapse without committing offences before a driver can recover his or her initial points will be fixed at two years. Until now, the period varied according to the seriousness of the offence.

Safety for cyclists
On roads with more than one lane in each direction, it is compulsory to change lanes when overtaking cyclists or mopeds. The number of points which will be deducted when overtaking cyclists without leaving the mandatory minimum separation of 1.5 metres is also going to be increased from four to six . The fine remains at 200 euros.

Cycle lanes
It will be forbidden to stop or park on cycle lanes or cycle paths.

Throwing objects out of the window
Throwing objects onto the road or in the immediate vicinity of the road that could cause fires or accidents will lead to the loss of six points.

Pedestrians
Pedestrians will have the right of way over vehicles at pedestrian crossings, on pavements and in pedestrianised zones.

Radar jammers
It is going to be forbidden to have radar jammers or speed cameras installed in vehicles, whether they are in operation or not. They are systems that interfere with the proper functioning of traffic monitoring systems and are therefore not permitted. Using them will lead to the loss of three points.

Helmets
Not wearing a helmet or not wearing it properly will mean losing four points.

My DGT App (driving licence)
As of March 21 it will no longer be necessary to physically carry your driving licence. All you need to do is download and register on the myDGT App to prove that you are authorised to drive.