At least 20 people were killed on Spain’s roads last year after getting out of their vehicles and then being run over. Of the 303 people who lost their lives on motorways in 2018, around a fifth were on foot.
The country’s traffic authority, Tráfico, says many of the victims were trying to set up the obligatory red warning triangles when they were hit, and as a result plans are underway to phase out the devices.
At present, it is compulsory to carry two of the triangles in every car and these should be set up on the road, 50 metres behind and ahead of the vehicle, to warn oncoming drivers of an unexpected hazard. On a motorway, only one triangle is required, placed 50 metres behind the vehicle, but Tráfico says these rules should be applied “flexibly and in keeping with the circumstances of the accident or breakdown.”
The authority says it is preparing a new draft of traffic regulations which will include advice on what to do in the event of such an incident. It says this will bridge the gap whilst an alternative warning system is developed and hopes that this will be in place by 2025. Under consideration is a form of flashing light, although Tráfico has not yet confirmed how this would work.
Tráfico has also announced that a package of road safety measures previously announced will not be implemented until after the General Election on April 28. These include harsher penalties for using mobile phones while driving, increased penalties for speeding and changes to the driving test.