Cyclists are one of the groups most exposed to road traffic incidents given their greater vulnerability than cars, motorcycles and other motor vehicles. Therefore, caution must be extreme. The General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) intends to eradicate widespread behaviours among all users who circulate on the roads, such as the use of mobile phones or the way they cross pedestrian crossings.
Starting with the first, this habit is prohibited and sanctioned by the DGT also among those who ride a bicycle. The fine in this regard is 200 euros, and the same amount if cyclists circulate with headphones on: It is totally forbidden to use the mobile phone while riding a bicycle.
Headphones connected to receivers or sound players are also prohibited.
In its eagerness to dissuade everyone from combining driving with the use of a mobile phone, the new Traffic Law toughens the penalties for those who drive their car using the phone or holding it in their hand, which now involves a loss of six points instead of three.
There are other aspects that cyclists must take into account to guarantee safety, comply with current regulations and avoid the respective penalty. Among them is the obligation to get off the bike and cross on foot when they come across a zebra crossing. Cyclists do not have priority at pedestrian crossings, nor can they ride on sidewalks or pedestrian areas, so the DGT recalls the rule that establishes that they must cross them on foot. The corresponding fine is again 200 euro.
For its part, one of the best known and most widespread regulations among users in the world of cycling is the use of a protective helmet on the head. On the road it is mandatory except on long climbs, in extreme heat or for medical reasons. In the city, however, it is only compulsory for those under 16 years of age, although it is advisable for the rest. The fines also amount to 200 euro.
With the entry into force of the new Road Safety Law on March 21, a new measure has been established that seeks to guarantee the safety of cyclists on the road and reduce accidents as much as possible. It is about penalising drivers who make dangerous overtaking with six points from the license (before it was four). Vehicles must maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 metres from bicycles at all times, and it is mandatory to change lanes on roads with more than one lane in each direction to ensure that the manoeuvre is safe.