This weekend marks the end of the summer road campaigns with “Retorno del verano”, when traffic starts to return from holiday destinations such as the coast and mountains to inland areas of Spain.
The special operation will run from Thursday 31 August to Sunday 3 September, when more than 6 million vehicle movements are anticipated, an increase on previous years, although spread over an additional day, Thursday.
There will be restrictions on the movement of some freight and none emergency road works will be suspended. There will also be additional lanes created in some areas in order to maximise the space available for traffic.
Drivers are advised to check their vehicle before a long journey, looking for any signs of potential wear, damage or risk, take frequent breaks, take your time and plan your route, allowing extra time on the way, and ensure compliance with the law at all times, including the avoidance of alcohol and drugs, ensuring that all vehicle occupants use the seatbelts, and children are seating in the correct seats, i.e. not the front, but occupying a seat suitable for them.
In order to ensure the safe flow of traffic, around 20,000 people will be on duty, including thousands of Guardia Civil traffic officers, assisted by staff employed by the DGT directly, plus specialist technical personnel, employees of conservation companies and other emergency services personnel, all of whom will work together so that drivers can make a safe trip.
Tips for a safer weekend
If you don´t have to travel this weekend, then the best advice is to avoid doing so. However, you can also plan your journey around the quieter times. Sunday afternoon is likely to be the busiest, as well as Friday evening.
Plan the trip by the safest route to avoid unforeseen events. The DGT has several channels such as the DGT free app, the twitter accounts @informacionDGT and @DGTes, and radio broadcasts, alerting the real-time traffic situation and any incidents that may exist. Of course, never use the apps or your device if you are driving, ask a passenger to check, or find a safe, convenient and legal place to stop and check.
Check the vehicle before setting off, preferable the day before and also just before you set off. Good maintenance improves road safety. If your vehicle is not in the best conditions, opt for another means of transport. In the last year, 4% of the vehicles involved in an accident did not have an ITV in order.
Respect the speed established on each road and maintain the safety distance with the vehicle in front.
Take breaks every two hours, fatigue and sleep are deadly when driving.
Do not drink alcohol or use drugs when driving.
All occupants of the vehicle must wear a seat belt. If children are less than 135 cm tall, they must sit in the rear seats with their corresponding child restraint system.
On conventional roads, take into account the increase of bicycles and pedestrians during the summer that cross roads that connect nearby towns.
Adapt your driving to the characteristics of the road (changes of gradients, curves, narrow roadways etc.), and the weather conditions.
Also remember that teams of people will be on the roads to help you. If you get into difficulty, you can call the Guardia Civil (in Spanish), on 062, or the emergency coordination centre, 112, who speak a variety of languages, including English.