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Over the next few days, 6,820,000 long-distance movements are expected. The return movements will occur in a staggered manner between Thursday and Sunday.

With the start of the school year just around the corner, the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) will launch the last of the special devices prepared for this summer on Thursday, “Operation Return”, which will see many of the domestic tourists who have been on holiday return to their inland homes.

The DGT therefore forecasts that, from 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 31, and until midnight on Sunday, September 3, there will be 6,820,000 long-distance movements due to the generalised return that will take place in the coming days.

Operation Return

In this operation, the previously mentioned return movements will coincide, which will be staggered between Thursday 31 and the weekend itself, from the tourist coastal and rest areas to the large urban centres, with departure movements that also take place during the weekend for the beginning of the holiday month of September, mainly towards coastal tourist areas.

Travel forecasts

On Thursday 31, especially between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., there will begin to be high intensities of traffic in the return direction and traffic jams on the main communication road axes that channel all movement from coastal and rest areas to large urban centres.

On Friday the 1st, between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., there will be high intensity traffic going out of the big cities and on the main communication routes to access the tourist coastal and rest areas, together with the usual weekend traffic, also outbound, mainly to coastal areas and second homes.

On Saturday morning, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., intense outbound traffic will continue for the beginning of both the weekend and the holiday month of September towards coastal and tourist areas, movements that will join the usual traffic for weekend to second home areas and beaches and, in the afternoon, to the return to the large urban centres of those who have finished their vacation and make a staggered return.

Sunday will be the last day of return for both those who are ending their vacation and those who have enjoyed the weekend, so, between 4 and 11 p.m., there will be high traffic intensities and circulation problems in the areas and main communication road axes that channel all return movement from the coastal and rest areas to the large cities. In addition, there will also be high traffic intensities in the communication axes with border crossings due to the return movements of foreign-registered vehicles to their European countries of origin.

For all this, the DGT recommends, as always, planning trips in advance and, if possible, avoiding the most unfavourable hours.

Special device

With all this flow of vehicles on the road, the DGT has established a series of traffic regulation, organisation and surveillance measures, with the aim of facilitating the mobility and fluidity of the different road users and ensuring the safety of everyone, among which stand out:

The installation of additional and reversible lanes with cones at times of greatest traffic flow and on the main access roads to large cities.

The restriction of the circulation of dangerous goods vehicles, special transport and trucks in general and those that transport certain goods in certain sections, dates and times.

The cessation of works on the roads and limitation to the holding of sports events and other events that involve the occupation of the road.

The design of recommended alternative itineraries according to origin and destination, with distances and travel times and, in some cases, avoiding the downtown area, which is the one with the highest traffic intensity.

Added to these measures, as usual, is the maximum availability of the human resources available to the organisation: agents from the Traffic Group of the Guardia Civil, civil servants from the 8 Traffic Management Centres and personnel in charge of maintenance of equipment and the installation of road measures, in addition to the emergency services personnel, as well as their material resources: 780 fixed speed control radars, of which 92 are section ones, 545 mobile radars that can be on board in the vehicles of the Traffic Group of the Guardia Civil, 245 cameras and 15 camouflaged vans to control the use of mobile phones and seat belts. The DGT also has helicopters and drones for surveillance from the air and unmarked vehicles and motorcycles that will circulate on all types of roads in order to check the correct behaviour of drivers.

Return in the best road safety conditions

As the month of August is about to end, it is advisable to prepare to return home in the best road safety conditions, for which the General Directorate of Traffic recommends:

Schedule the most appropriate time for the trip, choosing, as far as possible, the time in which we are used to driving and avoiding traveling at night or after a tiring day at the beach or in the mountains. Night driving produces fatigue and drowsiness in the inexperienced driver.

Likewise, before leaving on a trip, have breakfast or a light meal, avoiding accompanying it with large doses of stimulating drinks, as well as the consumption of those medications that decrease attention or cause drowsiness.

Of course, never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, nor let someone who has done so get behind the wheel. The only safe rate is 0.0%.

Before and during the trip, find out about the state of the roads through the DGT website, Twitter accounts @informacionDGT and @DGTes, from the news bulletins on radio and television, as well as by calling 011, in order to avoid unforeseen events and use alternative itineraries if necessary.

Check the weather conditions, especially as rain may be expected in some places, and it could be heavy with localised flooding.

Regarding the vehicle, before setting out on the road, check, at a minimum, the correct operation of the lights and tyre pressure, and ensure the correct placement of all luggage, allowing maximum visibility for the driver at all times, and not placing objects in the rear tray of the vehicle that could cause damage in the event of sudden braking.

While driving, always be cautious, paying attention at all times and respecting traffic rules: speed, safety distance, seat belts for all passengers, etc.

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