Driving in Spain: The device you’ll soon need to have in your car by law

Photos: Help Flash
The warning triangles drivers in Spain have to carry in their cars in case of a breakdown are being phased out and replaced with these emergency lights.

January 1, 2021 marked the start date of a series of new road rules in Spain relating to speed limits, penalties and e-scooters primarily

But one other change to Spain’s Traffic Code which fell below many drivers’ radars was the introduction of a new device as part of any car’s obligatory accessory kit.

Called the “luz de emergencia V-16” in Spanish, it’s a pocket-sized light which is meant to be kept in the glovebox and when there’s a breakdown or emergency forcing the vehicle to stop, it’s placed on the roof of the car.

This allows drivers to alert others that they are stationary without having to get out of their vehicles and place a warning triangle behind and often in front of their car on the road, or put on a reflecting yellow vest before getting out.

It’s considered a much safer alternative by road experts, as drivers don’t risk being run over by any oncoming traffic.

Twenty people lost their lives in Spain while placing their emergency triangles on the road in 2020.

Photo: Rico Loeb/Pixabay

As of January 1, it’s obligatory to have either the warning triangles or the V-16 emergency light, but the plan is to phase out all emergency triangles in the coming years and for the battery-powered light device to be the only one allowed and in use by 2024.

The siren emits a yellowish LED light in short bursts which can be allegedly seen from one kilometre away in all directions.

It also uses magnets to easily stick to the roof of the car.


The device doubles up as torch as well, as it has a function which emits constant light, in case you need to change a wheel or check your car’s engine at night.

Spain's new emergency light is being sold online by a company called Help Flash for around €24, which reportedly is the only brand that currently has the patent for this type of siren. 

Not having warning triangles in your vehicle can result in fines of up to €200 in Spain.  


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