The bicycle and the Spanish Highway Code
The General Traffic Regulations are a useful tool for those embarking on a cycle-touring trip.
Some articles of note:
- Article 36: Drivers obliged to use the road verges.
- Article 55: Sporting events, bike rallies, and other events.
- Article 59: Intersections
- Article 64. General rules and cyclists’ right of way.
- Article 118. Helmets and other protection elements.
- Annex II: Section 2. Bike rallies
The General Traffic Regulations authorise cyclists to ride in groups, but this does not mean riding in a pack.
Cyclists must therefore ride on the right-hand verge if it is passable and sufficient for each rider; if it is not they will use as little of the roadway as possible.
On long descents with bends when it is safe to do so cyclists may leave the verge and ride on the right-hand side of the roadway as necessary.
As an exception cyclists may ride in a parallel position two by two, keeping to the right as much as possible and in single file on sections of poor visibility and when traffic jams occur. On dual carriageways they may only ride on the hard shoulder without encroaching on the roadway under any circumstances. However, as far as the riding of bicycles is concerned, the Highway Code is not restricted to these articles and is applicable in its totality.
Road Safety Law:
Cyclists cannot lose points: Annex II of the Road Safety Law establishes the following: ”Points will only be lost when the incident from which said loss of points derives occurs when a vehicle is being driven when administrative authorisation is required to do so”. Up to now no authorisation is needed to ride a bicycle.
In the Cyclists’ Guide produced by the State Traffic Office (Dirección General de Tráfico, DGT) we find that as a general rule cyclists are not allowed to ride on motorways and dual carriageways. However, riders aged over 14 years old may ride on the hard shoulder of dual carriageways unless this is prohibited by a sign for safety reasons; in this case a panel will indicate an alternative itinerary.