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Driving in Spain

Reversing? There are rules!



It is quite a frequent occurrence that we have to change the direction of travel and reverse, parking being the most obvious reason, but there are rules we must abide by when we do reverse with our vehicles, and if we don’t you could be 500 euro out of pocket.

The most common rules ignored, or not known, by drivers, is that generally you can only reverse for a maximum of 15 metres, and you must so do, “slowly”.

Specifically, the Spanish Traffic Law dedicates a section and two complete articles to reversing: article 80 and 81.

Article 80:

  1. It is prohibited to move backwards, except in cases where it is not possible to move forward or change direction or direction of travel, and in complementary manoeuvres to another that requires it, and always with the minimum necessary distance to carry it out.
  2. The route backwards, as a complementary manoeuvre for stopping, parking or entering traffic, may not exceed 15 metres or invade a crossroads.
  3. Reversing on motorways is prohibited.

Article 81:

  1. The reversing manoeuvre must be carried out slowly, after having warned it with the mandatory signals and having made sure, even getting off or following the instructions of another person, if necessary, that, due to the circumstances of visibility, space and time necessary to carry it out, will not constitute a danger to other road users.
  2. The driver of a vehicle that intends to go backwards must warn the purpose in the manner provided in article 109 (with the vehicle light that is automatically connected when engaging reverse gear; in case of to drive with a vehicle that does not have it, the driver must indicate it by extending the arm horizontally and keeping the palm of the hand backwards).
  3. Likewise, you must carry out the manoeuvre with the utmost caution and stop the vehicle as quickly as possible if you hear indicator warnings or become aware of the proximity of another vehicle or a person or animal, or as soon as security requires it, giving up the action. Manoeuvre if necessary.

The fines that you can get when reversing

Thus, the Traffic Code provides for a series of offences related to reversing. Almost all of them are punished with a 200-euro fine, but with a 500-euro fine in some very specific cases. These sanctions are the following:

Fines of 200 euro

  • If you drive backwards being able to avoid it with another manoeuvre.
  • If you drive backwards for a distance of more than 15 metres to carry out the manoeuvre to which it is complementary.
  • If you drive backwards, invading a crossroads to carry out the manoeuvre to which it is complementary.
  • If you carry out the reverse manoeuvre on the motorway.
  • If you carry out the reversing manoeuvre without making sure that it will not constitute a danger to other road users.
  • If you do not perform the reverse manoeuvre slowly.
  • If you carry out the reversing manoeuvre without warning with the mandatory signals.
  • If you do not carry out the reversing manoeuvre with the utmost caution.
  • If you do not stop the vehicle, or give up the reversing manoeuvre; when required for safety.

Fines of 500 euro

A penalty of this amount is only imposed in a very specific case: when you are driving “in the opposite direction to that stipulated, reversing a long section of the road”.

The post Reversing? There are rules! first appeared on – Driving In Spain.

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