The Road Safety Action Plan for 2022-2023 is the starting point for the implementation of the 2030 Road Safety Strategy, which aims to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries in traffic accidents by 50% for the year 2030.
This first plan of the strategy brings together all the measures and actions that will be introduced and developed in the next biennium to transform mobility and make it safe.
It should be noted that the 2022-2023 plan is firmly committed to education, training, and information so that all road users are aware, educated and trained. It is also committed to introducing improvements in vehicles and infrastructures, as well as new actions to monitor and control traffic regulations.
TRAINED AND CAPABLE PEOPLE
As the first plan of the strategy is firmly committed to education, it has been decided to introduce road safety education in primary, secondary and high school education. Likewise, the extension of the STARS project has been approved to promote the safe school route. The European STARS project (Accreditation and Recognition of Sustainable Travel for Schools), aims to encourage and reward educational centres that encourage sustainable and safe travel among their students, both on foot and by bicycle.
Accessibility for people with language difficulties and intellectual disabilities to DGT examination services will also be improved and specific assessment centres for drivers with motor disabilities will be created.
Likewise, it is intended that the theoretical test by computer to the displaced examination centres will be extended; incorporate new ADAS systems (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) in aptitude and behaviour control tests to obtain a driver’s licence; update the medical-psychological examination protocol at Driver Recognition Centres (CRC); and review the periods of validity of the driving licence, which may see a shorter period between renewals for older drivers implemented.
On the other hand, one of the measures that has attracted the most attention has been the introduction of the new B1 driving licence, which will authorise the driving quadricycles with an engine whose empty mass is less than or equal to 400 kilograms and with an engine whose maximum power is less than or equal to 15 kW. This will also benefit younger drivers, thus improving mobility in more rural areas, it is hoped.
Lastly, training courses will be developed on risks for users of bicycles and Personal Mobility Vehicles (VMP) and other specific courses for users of motorcycles and mopeds.
ZERO TOLERANCE FOR RISKY BEHAVIOURS
In order to deal with risky behaviour on roads, the number of section speed cameras on conventional roads will be increased, the main risk behaviours on interurban roads will be monitored, new technologies will be applied to the surveillance of risky behaviour and will see the implementation of the alcolock system, a device that prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver has consumed alcohol, in public passenger transport.
In addition, the General Circulation Regulations have been modified to improve the protection of vulnerable groups and regulations have been developed regarding Personal Mobility Vehicles (VMP), related to the minimum age or the use of safety equipment.
It is also currently under discussion that compulsory insurance may be required for Personal Mobility Vehicles.
SAFE CITIES AND ROADS
The new generic speed limits on urban roads that came into force in May 2021 will be monitored and evaluated. In addition, the regulation of Low Emission Zones (ZBE) will be supported and recommendation documents will be prepared, paying some attention to loading and unloading in urban areas.
Different design solutions will also be created to improve safety on interurban roads by means of lateral clearances, the smoothing of margins, the installation of containment systems, the elimination of ditches or the construction of safety ditches… Likewise, the 2+1 roads, whose objective is to avoid frontal and frontolateral collisions on roads without physical separation of directions. 2+1 road is a specific category of three-lane road, consisting of two lanes in one direction and one lane in the other, alternating every few kilometres, and usually separated with a steel cable barrier. The second lane allows faster-moving traffic to overtake slower vehicles at regular intervals.
Crossing safety will also improve, as will pedestrian safety on intercity roads. The first plan of the strategy also refers to the implementation of cycle paths on interurban roads and the installation of protection systems for motorcyclists.
On the other hand, the DGT 3.0 platform will be integrated with data on works, sports events, special transport and roadside assistance vehicles. In addition, the catalogue of vertical and horizontal signs will be updated, as well as the beaconing elements.
SAFE AND CONNECTED VEHICLES
The 2022-2023 Plan includes the approval and dissemination of the manual of characteristics of Personal Mobility Vehicles (VMP), which establishes the technical requirements that scooters must meet in order to be put into circulation. Likewise, as mentioned, the promotion of compulsory insurance for Personal Mobility Vehicles is included in the plan.
For its part, the new Regulation of Historic Vehicles is introduced, which provides these vehicles with a treatment similar to that received in other countries of our socioeconomic environment.
Lastly, there is an emphasis on promoting the use of the airbag for motorcyclists when accessing driving licences, and the use of electric vehicles in driving licence exams is encouraged.