Traffic Laws for Cyclists in Spain

Gran Canaria has a relatively high police presence. Read a little update on the rules of cycling in Spain.

  • In general, these rules are consistent throughout Spain, but some vary in different municipalities.
  • A bicycle is considered a vehicle, although of course no driving licence is required. If you do have a driving licence, it is not possible to be given any points on your license from cycling offences.
  • Helmets are mandatory, outside of urban areas.  Riding without one can incur a fine of 200 euro. For under 16s, helmets are mandatory even in urban areas.
  • Wearing headphones while riding is also illegal, again punishable with a 200 euro fine.
  • Using a telephone while cycling:  200 euros
  • Running a red light or a STOP sign: 100-200 euros
  • Disrespecting other road users, performing reckless manoeuvres, not signalling turn directions, riding on the pavement, and excessive speeding in pedestrianised areas may also lead to fines.
  • Alcohol levels on a breathalyser test may not exceed 0.25mg/l, or 0.5g/l in the event of a blood test, otherwise again being liable to fines. What this translates to in units actually consumed is variable on body weight and hydration status.
  • Cyclists should cycle in hard shoulders if these are present and safe to use.
  • It is permitted to ride two abreast (side by side)
  • Cycling on Motorways is prohibited- except in cases of special permissions: which I got to experience first-hand a couple of years ago when two police motorbikes escorted some friends and I along a stretch of motorway to safety...!
  • Lights are mandatory in tunnels, such as those on the coast road between Puerto Rico and Taurito.
  • It is strongly advisable to carry photo ID with you at all times, such as a drivers licence, identity card or passport.
  • As for drivers, when overtaking cyclists: they should leave minimum 1,5 meters of space when passing you! The locals tend to be very respectful of this.

Safe cycling!

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