If you regularly drive in Spain then it’s likely that you already have an emergency kit loaded into your car. All drivers in Spain need to carry high visibility jackets, a spare pair of glasses (if you normally wear them), and a warning triangle, regardless of whether they are taking a long or a short journey.
However, the red warning triangle that you’ve probably seen regularly on the road is now being replaced: it is being phased out and instead drivers will be required to carry emergency lights in their car instead.
A Series of New Road Rules
The Spanish authorities have introduced a series of new road rules, which were updated from the 1st January 2021. The vast majority of these rules were related to speed limits, penalty charges, and the use of e-scooters on the road. However one other change that is much more wide-reaching, and will have an impact on all drivers in Spain, is the introduction of a new device that Spanish drivers are now asked to carry in lieu of the traditional red warning triangle.
This device is known as the “luz de emergencia V-16”. It is a pocket-sized light which is small enough to fit inside the glove box of any car. When your vehicle is involved in an accident or emergency that means that it has to be brought to a stop, you simply reach into your glove box and pop the light on the roof of your car. This will show other drivers instantly and easily that your car is stationary, but the driver of the vehicle affected won’t need to get out of their car to put their warning triangle in place, enabling them to stay safe in their vehicle. Road experts believe that these lights are much safer than warning triangles because they keep road users in their cars: in 2020, twenty people lost their lives on Spanish roads whilst they were placing their emergency triangle in the road following a break down or accident.
Do You Need to Buy a Warning Light Now?
If you already have a warning triangle in your car, then you don’t need to rush out and buy a V-16 emergency light now. From the 1st January 2021, the law dictates that motorists must carry either a warning triangle or a V-16 emergency light. However the plan is for triangles to be phased out over the coming years, with battery powered emergency lights being used universally by 2024. If you don’t currently own a warning triangle or if your warning triangle needs to be replaced, therefore, it makes sense to invest in a V016 emergency light now.
What is a V-16 Emergency Light and How Does it Work?
A V-16 emergency light is a siren that emits a yellow toned LED light in short bursts (flashing on and off) from the moment it is turned on. These lights are bright enough to be seen from up to one kilometre away, if the sky is clear. The light has a strong magnet on the bottom, enabling it to stick easily and simply to the roof of your car, without risking any damage to your paint work.
The light also serves dual purpose, because it can be used as a torch as well. You can turn your emergency light onto ‘continual light mode’ and use it if you need to change your tyre or check your car’s engine at night. Because it is so easy to use, and serves the same purpose as a warning triangle, one you have invested in a V16-Emegency light, you will no longer have to carry a warning triangle in your car.
Buying Your V-16 Emergency Light
At this stage, there is only one place that you can buy a V-16 Emergency light in Spain: it is sold online by a company called Help Flash for around €24. At this stage, this is the only company in the country that has a patent to make and sell this kind of siren, but as the demand for them increases in the upcoming months and years, it is expected that other providers of the light will come on board.
Not having a warning triangles (or now an emergency light) in your vehicle when driving in Spain can result in fines of up to €200, so it’s important to ensure that you have your car kit in place before you get behind the wheel.
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