This weekend sees the first of the four special operations on the roads of Spain where the network will be stretched to the limit, as summer holidaymakers move through the country´s roads.
There will be four specific operations during the summer, which coincide with two-week blocks, as well as every weekend during July and August.
- The first operation – From Friday 30 of June to Sunday 2 of July.
- Operation “1 August” – From Friday 28 July to Tuesday 2 August.
- Operation “15 August” – From Friday 11 to Tuesday 15 August.
- Operation Return – From Thursday 31 August to Sunday 3 September.
- Then, as mentioned, every weekend during the period.
During the two months there will be four intensive surveillance campaigns operating, with a focus on motorcycles, inappropriate speed, vehicle conditions and alcohol and other drugs.
The aim of the operations are to ensure the safety and fluidity of traffic on the roads. It is expected that during July and August, 89 million trips will be carried out by road, which represents 4 million more movements by road (+ 4.6%) compared to the displacements that occurred last summer. This forecast places the number of journeys similar to those recorded in 2008. Of the 89 million forecast, 43.5 million will occur in July and 45.5 million in the month of August.
As has been happening for some years, many holidaymakers choose to break up their vacations over the course of the two months and start them by making them coincide with the weekend.
In line with this criterion, the DGT has set up special traffic controls during all weekends, in order to take care of the greater number of people who start their holidays on the weekend and who opt for the vehicle as a means of transport.
During the operations, special protocols will be adopted, including:-
- Installation of reversible and additional lane with cones at times greater traffic intensity on certain roads.
- The suspension of all roadway maintenance, except those which are considered essential.
- Restrictions on the movements of dangerous goods (vehicle owners can check these restrictions with the DGT).
- Signposting of alternative routes to key destinations to reduce congestion on main roads.
- Intensified surveillance campaigns which will focus on reducing incidents involving the most vulnerable and those who create a higher risk.
During the first intensified campaign, motorcycles will be the main focus, this campaign will be on the 8th and 9th of July. Between the 17th and 23rs of July, the attention will turn to vehicle standards, ensuring the safety and maintenance of vehicles on the roads, especially older ones.
Around the weekend of the 15th of August, attention will focus on alcohol and drugs, as this coincides with an increase in the number of summer parties being held. Finally, during the week of the 21st of August, speed checks will increase.
In order to ensure the safe flow of traffic, approximately 20,000 people will be on duty, including 6,000 Guardia Civil traffic officers, assisted by 600 staff employed by the DGT directly, plus specialist technical personnel, employees of conservation companies and 13,000 emergency services personnel, all of whom will work together so that drivers can make a safe trip.
Tips for a safer summer
- Plan the trip: by the safest route to avoid unforeseen events. The DGT has several channels such as the DGT free app, the twitter accounts @informacionDGT and @DGTes, and radio broadcasts, alerting the real-time traffic situation and any incidents that may exist.
- Check the vehicle. Good maintenance improves road safety. If your vehicle is not in the best conditions, opt for another means of transport. In the last year, 4% of the vehicles involved in an accident did not have an ITV in order.
- Respect the speed established in each road and maintain the safety distance with the vehicle in front.
- Take breaks every two hours, fatigue and sleep are deadly when driving.
- Do not drink alcohol or use drugs when driving.
- All occupants of the vehicle must wear a seat belt. If children are less than 135 cm tall, they must sit in the rear seats with their corresponding child restraint system.
- On conventional roads, take into account the increase of bicycles and pedestrians during the summer that cross roads that connect nearby towns.
- Adapt your driving to the characteristics of the road (changes of gradients, curves, narrow roadways etc.)
- If you are a bicycle user, remember that in addition to wearing a helmet, you have to ride with lights and reflective garments at night, and must have a bell.
- In the case of pedestrians, if you walk on roads out of town, remember that they must do so on the left, facing oncoming traffic, and if it is at night or in meteorological or environmental conditions that significantly reduce visibility, you should wear a high visibility vest or other reflective garment.
Traffic characteristics in the summer
- Traffic in the summer presents characteristics different from those that occur at other times of the year this must be taken into account.
- An increase in the number of long-distance journeys both on working days and especially on weekends.
- Less congestion in the accesses to the big urban nuclei during the peak hours of working days in the entrance and exit to the places of work.
- Higher density of traffic on secondary roads.
- Intense traffic on roads that connect coastal towns and coastal tourist areas with the beaches during all days of the week.
- Greater presence of cyclists and pedestrians on the road.
- Increased circulation throughout the road network of foreign registered vehicles.
- Increase in the number of sports activities used by the road for its development, for which complementary traffic measures will be adopted.
- Increase in drivers in unfamiliar territory, who may change speed, course or direction without warning, on account of being confused by their surroundings.
Teams of people will be on the roads to help you. If you get into difficulty, you can call the Guardia Civil (in Spanish), on 062, or the emergency coordination centre, 112, who speak a variety of languages. Stay safe and enjoy your holiday.