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"During his six years working for St Helens Council Education Department, Paul was, among other things, our in-house "languages expert", doing the translating, interpreting and liaison with our twin towns in Chalon-Sur-Saône, France, Stuttgart, Germany and El Prat de Llobregat, Spain. His participation has enabled us to maintain strong links with all three towns, particularly in the field of education, where he set up and managed a very successful work experience programme for sixth formers"
Brian Mainwaring, Director of Education, St Helens Council, August 1995

New Traffic Laws in force in Spain PDF
Saturday, 10 July 2010 00:00

La reforma de la Ley de Tráfico (new Traffic regulations) came into force on 25 May. Promoted as being +Sencilla, + Fácil, + Justa (simpler, easier and fairer) the changes are designed to tidy up the previous arrangements, to promote better standards of driving and to simplify the payment of fines.

As of 25 May programming your satnav, using your mobile phone or wearing headphones or earphones while driving become serious offences, with a fine of €200 and the loss of three points.  Riding a bicycle without lights is a minor offence with a fine of €100 but no points deducted.  Drink driving and speeding remain serious offences with fines of €500 and the loss of up to six points.

Payment of fines
can now be made via the internet at . Offenders have up to 20 days to pay their fine or to raise an objection and there is a discount of 50% for early payment.

The number of offences bearing a loss of points has been reduced from 27 to 20.  There are no longer any temporary suspensions of driving licences for serious or very serious offences.  Licences will only be withdrawn when all points have been lost.  So you can drink and drive, get caught, be over the limit, but retain your licence.  Is that such a good idea?

According to the Spanish Minister of the Interior, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, standards of driving in Spain are improving all the time: “And it’s not just my perception, the data proves it. In the last five years the number of deaths on the roads has fallen by a half.  Proof that we’re driving more safely.  However, we should not stop there. "

Sr Pérez Rubalcaba
has no doubt that the changes recently introduced will improve the service to drivers and lead to the further reduction in the number of traffic accidents.

“Most road accidents can be avoided and experience has taught us that the more drivers understand our objectives the more effective the traffic regulations are.”

Further information can be viewed at, although only in the approved languages of Spain, and not in English nor any other foreign languages.  Not that helpful for the two million foreigners who live permanently in Spain.

© Paul Whitelock



Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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