Friday, 9 June 2023, 16:48
About 20 million people use the bicycle regularly in Spain according to the latest Bicycle Barometer. And 30 per cent of these people use a bicycle daily to go to work or to a school, college or university.
In common with other road users, cyclists must know and respect traffic regulations.
When riding a bike it is totally forbidden to use a mobile phone. Headphones and earphones are also prohibited as they limit hearing and can cause distractions. The fine for breaking this law is 200 euros.
Traffic light signals also apply to cyclists. Ignoring a traffic light can mean a fine of up to 500 euros. And, contrary to what many cyclists think, bikes do not have priority on pedestrian crossings where it is mandatory to get off the bike and walk across. Failure to do so may result in a fine of 200 euros. Cyclists must also give way to a pedestrian crossing when they turn onto one from another road and also if there are pedestrians crossing a road which does not have a marked crossing. Failure to respect the pedestrian crossing priority can incur a penalty of 200 euros.
It is important to be aware that a protective helmet is compulsory for those under 16 years of age. For other cyclists it is strongly recommended.
Spain's Directorate-General for Traffic authority, the DGT, point out a little known warning that cyclists can deploy to warn other road users in advance of an abrupt braking procedure. This is by quickly moving an arm up and down. And for safety, it is always recommended – not mandatory – to cycle on bike lanes where they are available. Cyclists have priority over motor vehicles when on a bicycle lane, a bicycle pass or a properly marked hard shoulder.
Cyclists can carry a child, up to seven years of age, in an approved seat, provided that the rider is of legal age. Breaking this rule can result in a fine of 100 euros. And, at night, or in tunnels, cyclists must use front and rear lights or face a 100-euro fine.
Apart from these rules, there are five maxims that every bicycle user should put into practice on a daily basis to guarantee their safety.
• Always know and comply with traffic regulations.
• Choose the most suitable and safest route for bicycle users.
• The bicycle must always be in good condition.
• Equip yourself with a helmet for safety.
• Avoid all distractions.
El Norte de Castilla
El Diario Vasco
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