This weekend, the roads of Spain are expected to be particularly busy at times, thanks to the Christmas holidays.
However, this year, it is anticipated that there will be an extra three million more journeys on the country´s roads than last year, with a total number of 16,675,000 trips during the period which starts at 15:00 on Friday, 23 December, until 00:00 on Sunday, 8 January, 2017.
The main bulk of traffic movements will be split into three specific phases. The first phase of the operation will be from Friday 23rd December, until Monday 26th, although in some areas the special operation retires on the Sunday night. During this weekend, it is anticipated that 4.1 million trips will take place.
Phase two will be for the end of the year celebrations, specifically from Friday, 30th December until Sunday, 1st January, on Monday in some places such as Murcia. The third phase runs over the Three Kings celebrations from Friday 5th until Sunday 8th January, 2017.
The largest volume of movements in this period will focus on the central area of the peninsula (25%), followed by the region of Murcia and Valencia where 21% of displacements will take place.
In order to ensure the safest flow of traffic during the operation, the Guardia Civil will be out in force on the roads, monitoring for the usual offences that contribute most highly to incidents, such as inappropriate speed, alcohol or drugs, and distractions, including the use of mobile phones. They will also be checking on the correct use of seatbelts and child restraints, and that all documentation is correct and valid.
Officers on the ground will be supported by the 12 DGT helicopters in the air, including those fitted with the Pegasus monitoring equipment, which will also be monitoring for speeders, as well as seatbelt and mobile phone use.
If embarking on any kind of journey during the holiday period, the advice is always the same. Allow extra time for your journey, take plenty of breaks on long trips, be patient, always drive within the speed limit and at a safe distance, and never consume alcohol or drugs before driving.