The Minister for Home Affairs, Jorge Fernández Díaz, declared that the Draft Bill, approved by the Council of Ministers, will partially amend the text of the Law on Traffic, Motor Vehicles and Road Safety with the aim of "Spain also increasingly becoming a safer country in terms of road safety".

This reform, according to the minister, will focus on "specific aspects" that will enable us "to tackle the challenge of being a pioneer country in terms of road safety". The amendments provided by the new legislation include the mandatory nature of those under the age of 18 wearing a helmet when cycling on any kind of road, whether urban or inter urban. This obligation will come into force as soon as the law is passed without the need to wait for the implementing regulation.

The principle of "zero tolerance" as regards the presence of drugs in a person’s system is another of the main new amendments included in the draft bill. This clearly differentiates between administrative and criminal offences. The detection of drugs shall be performed through a saliva test and fines will be increased from 500 euros to 1,000 euros if the levels of alcohol established are exceeded or if the presence of drugs in a person’s system is detected. Jorge Fernández Díaz justified the increase in penalties through the need to fight against one of the main causes of accidents.

The new legislation bans systems to detect radar and maintains the ban on radar jamming systems. It also modifies child safety systems in vehicles, changing the criterion of age for height.

The reform presented last week, according to the minister, will be approved before the end of the year, will come into force at the beginning of 2014 and will do away with the general Traffic Regulation by spring of 2014.

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