The Congressional Road Safety Commission have approved the move for all emergency service vehicles to use blue lights, rather than amber, in line with the EU.
Traditionally, only the security services such as the Guardia Civil and police would use blue lights when operating as priority vehicles, with ambulances, fire and other priority vehicles using orange lights, the same as slow moving or special vehicles, which some drivers found confusing.
The change has already been approved by previous congressional committees, in 2006, 2010 and 2011, but had not been previously implemented. Now, as the Spanish Government is in a stable position, the move received 37 votes in favour, with 2 abstentions, the intention being to improve road safety.
The committee also approved an awareness campaign for road users so that everybody is clear of the need to give way to priority vehicles displaying blue lights.
Irene Rivera, the deputy for the Ciudadanos political group, who had raised the motion, had highlighted that some emergency vehicles, such as fire tenders, had lost valuable minutes when attending emergencies, as some road users thought they were just garbage trucks or slow moving vehicles. Associations representing fire fighters and the Protección Civil had both asked for the change to be implemented.
At the same time, the committee approved an initiative proposed by the Partido Popular to raise awareness of the human responsibility factor, intending to promote self-awareness of an attitude towards zero tolerance towards risk and risky behaviour on the roads.
The PP´s deputy, Óscar Gamazo, highlighted that the biggest growing cause in road traffic incidents in Spain is distractions, mostly caused by the use of the mobile phone whilst driving. Meanwhile, alcohol and drug use also pose a significant problem, along with inappropriate speed, all of which are factors that the driver is responsible for, and the awareness should focus on the responsibility of all road users.