There has been a lot of speculation over an increase in the maximum permitted speed on motorways to 130 kilometres per hour. This is included in the new laws, but not on all motorways. The DGT has said that there are just 1,500 kilometres of motorways which are eligible for the increase, the equivalent of around 1% of the road network.
The increased limit will only apply on roads with a low incident rate, with a good layout and in optimal weather conditions, and so variable, matrix signs will be used in some sections to indicate the limit increase. In the vast majority of cases, the limit will still be 120 kilometres per hour, unless the road signs say otherwise.
At the same time, we must also be aware that the maximum speed limit on other roads will actually decrease, with the standard maximum speed limit on conventional roads also reducing, with the limit depending on the characteristics of the actual road.
The maximum speeds, which may not be exceeded, except under the hypothetical provisions of other articles and rules, are the following:
On roads without pavements the maximum speed limit will be 30kph.
On motorways and dual carriageways with a maximum speed limit of 120kph, the speed limit may be increased by means of adjustable message boards up to a maximum of 130kph for cars, motorbikes and adapted three-wheeled vehicles.
This increased speed limit will be authorized and managed exclusively by the autonomous body of the National Traffic Headquarters or, where appropriate, by the autonomous authority competent in the management of traffic, as a temporary measure and on sections where reliable safety indicators, good conditions on the road and pavement, and optimal meteorological and environmental conditions exist.
Those vehicles or groups of vehicles within a system of special transport shall be governed by the speed limits provided for in appendix III of those rules. Those vehicles in which the driver is on foot will not surpass the speed of human walking pace, and animals which are pulling a vehicle, that of a trot.
For vehicles carrying dangerous goods, the maximum fixed speed will be reduced by 10kph depending on which type of vehicle and road is being driven.
Bicycles and mopeds may not be driven at speeds exceeding 45kph.
It is permitted to drive at speeds below the minimum in the case of bicycles, animal-drawn vehicles, special vehicles and vehicles in special transport systems or where the circumstances of the traffic, the vehicle or the road impede maintaining a speed above the minimum without risk to traffic, as well as in cases of protection or accompaniment of other vehicles, where the speed of the accompanied vehicle is adapted.
In such cases the accompanying vehicles must carry the markings V-21 or V-22, as appropriate.