If you’re already driving in Spain then you’ll know that on conventional Spanish roads, traffic signs are either red and white or blue and white. These signs are used to indicate either the maximum speed limit for that road, or any warnings or awareness markings for motorists to take note of.
Eagle-eyed motorists in Spain may have noticed that there are some new road signs on the block, however: the DGT have now introduced a new orange warning sign. There are now 300 of these new-look warning signs distributed across the country, with plans to introduce more if the currently distribution proves successful. Here’s everything you need to know about these new warning signs, and what they might signify.
What is the Orange Warning Sign For?
The new orange warning sign is a rectangular sign with an orange background. On its front in black it shows radar waves that are being emitted towards the images of a car, a motorcycle, and a lorry. The sign is then completed with a pair of forward-facing arrows and the numbers 5,7 km (these distance markers may vary depending on which road you are driving on).
The sign is a warning that you are approaching the most dangerous section of the road that you are travelling on, and therefore you speed will be monitored. This was clarified by a tweet from the DGT (which is the road traffic authority in Spain) that stated that “If you see this sign on a #conventional highway, it is warning you that it is one of the most dangerous sections and that excess #speed along the length of the section indicated is especially monitored. Drive at #proper speed. #BetterMoreSlowly”
For many motorists the new traffic signs have caused confusion, because they are very busy, different from any other signs in use in Spain, and because their meaning isn’t immediately clear. This has left many drivers unsure about what the signs are for, or what they should do as they pass them.
The sign seems to indicate that a fixed speed radar device has been installed within a certain distance of the sign (5km, 7km, or whatever distance indicated) but this isn’t actually the case. What the sign is actually indicating is that the next 5.7km segment of road is a hot spot for traffic accidents: whilst there may be mobile speed cameras present (and the sign warns that this is a possibility) primarily, the sign is to remind motorists to drive safely and adhere to the speed limit particularly during this difficult section of the road, to minimise their risk of being involved in a car accident.
It is well- proven that speeding is one of the most likely factors to contribute to your risk of experiencing a traffic accident, so the DGT (Dirección General de Tráfico) introduced the orange warning signs to enocurage drivers to slow down. If you see one of these signs right now, that is because you are driving on what the DGT currently considers to be one of the 300 most dangerous roads in Spain.
Why Has the Orange Warning Sign Been Introduced Now?
One of the main reasons that the orange warning signs have started to pop up now is because the summer period generally attracts larger numbers of road trippers on Spanish roads: both from in Spain itself and from other European countries. The DGT felt that, because of this, now was the best opportunity to remind as many motorists as possible of the importance of adapting their speed when driving on more difficult sections of road, and to respect the traffic signs placed on those roads.
In related news, the DGT have also used the introduction of their new road signs as an opportunity to remind motorists in Spain that it is illegal to warn other motorists of the presence of speed cameras, both mobile and permanent. This includes sharing this information on or via mobile phone apps.
In the past twelve months, 373 people have been killed on Spanish roads, so the DGT are working hard to introduce as many measures as possible to reduce the number of fatalities on their roads: their ultimate objective is to secure zero road deaths on the roads in Spain.
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