Plans are afoot for a shakeup of speed limits in town centres,  The department responsible for implementing road policies, Tráfico, has recommended that the maximum in some areas should fall to 20 kph, and this is likely to be enshrined in law soon.

The lowest speed limit would apply to roads on which the area for pedestrians is on the same level as the carriageway, a design which has grown in popularity as central areas are refurbished.  Elsewhere in town centres, Tráfico wants a 30 kph limit on single carriageways and 50 kph on dual carriageways.

Penalties for speeding are expected to be revised as well.  The present maximum of a €300 fine and loss of two licence points is set to increase to a €500 penalty and a loss of six points.  This would mean two maximum penalties would remove all the points from most drivers’ licences.  At present, less serious speeding offences attract a €100 fine which is reduced by half if paid immediately.

Tráfico says that over 500 people were killed in traffic accidents in town centres during 2017.  It says most of these were pedestrians, 80 per cent of whom, such as the elderly and disabled, are considered to be “vulnerable.”

From January 29, limits on roads outside urban areas were reduced for most users to a maximum of 90 kph on conventional roads with the motorway limit remaining at 120 kph.

However, lower limits apply to various classes of vehicle, such as, for example, buses and small vans which have maxima set at 90 kph and 100 kph respectively, lorries and cars with trailers at 80 kph and 90 kph, while bicycles and mopeds have limits of 45 kph on both classes of roads.