Driving in Spain: What are the new rules for overtaking cyclists?

Driving in Spain: What are the new rules for overtaking cyclists?
Photo: Photomix Company/Pexels
Spain’s traffic authority has new rules for overtaking cyclists on Spanish roads which come into effect on May 11th 2021. Here's what you need to know and how to avoid fines of up to €200 for not overtaking properly.

If a driver in Spain wants to overtake a cyclist, they will now have to leave a space of 1.5 metres between their vehicle and the cyclist as well as reduce their speed by 20km/h. 

For example, anyone wanting to overtake a cyclist on a 90km/h road will have to reduce their speed to 70km/h as well as abide by the pre-existing safety distance.

This is the latest addition to Spain’s newest driving law changes for 2021, a set of measures relating primarily to speed limits, penalties and e-scooters.


The head of Spain’s Directorate General of Traffic Pere Navarro justified the move by saying that when it comes to overtaking, many drivers tend to speed up rather than slow down, which increases the risk for cyclists.

In 2020, 36 cyclists lost their lives in Spain as a result of this, despite the mobility restrictions seen at the start of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The measure affects all drivers, including motorcyclists.

Failure to reduce one’s speed or leave a 1.5 metre separation will result in fines of up to €200 and the loss of three points off of the offender’s driving licence.

The possibility of driving into the next lane to safely overtake cyclists (even if there’s a solid line and as long as there’s not oncoming traffic) remains, as does the ban on overtaking all vehicles if there are cyclists approaching in the opposite direction.

It’s worth noting as well that, as the amended rulebook states, vehicles won’t be able to surpass the speed limit at all when overtaking on secondary roads anymore either, whereas before it was allowed by up to 20km/h when overtaking. 

Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.