All this week, the DGT will be running an intensive campaign on vehicle safety standards, meaning that the Guardia Civil traffic police will be out in force checking certain elements of vehicles for roadworthiness. As you read through this article, you will see that many of the sentences are highlighted in a different colour. If you click these, it will take you to articles which explains each part in more detail.
The campaign is running alongside the existing alcohol, drugs and speed monitoring activities, but, in addition to the driver, this week the officers will focus on three elements of the vehicle, namely the ITV, lights and wheels.
The ITV is almost the equivalent to the UK M.O.T. test, whereas once a vehicle has reached a certain age, it has to conform to minimum safety standards set out and tested by certified centres. The validity of an ITV is indicated by a sticker which should be displayed in the windscreen. Remember, only the valid sticker should be on display. You must also carry the ITV information with you in the car.
Lights should form part of your own routine check procedure to ensure they work. Headlights, rear lights, indicators, brake lights, in fact all vehicle lights are crucial to safe driving. If you don´t have anybody who can help you check them, you can do it yourself by parking your vehicle near a reflective surface. Sometimes, a van or truck can provide enough reflection to enable you to do this. It is no longer mandatory to carry a spare set of bulbs with you in the car.
Wheels should also form part of your routine check procedure. Over or under inflated tyres can be dangerous and can affect vehicle performance and fuel consumption. Tyre tread depth is also something you should keep a close eye on.
These checks are all about ensuring safety on the roads by making sure that vehicle satisfy the minimum standards. We all have a responsibility to make sure our own vehicles are roadworthy and safe, and not just rely on the certification of the ITV, but monitor our vehicles closely on a regular basis.