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Road safety requirements France & Spain


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magbrin - 2010-08-16 9:50 PM


I know we are required to carry certain safety gear (triangles, hi viz vest, etc) as well as using headlight deflectors when driving through France and Spain.

Can anyone tell me the best/cheapest place to buy these items?

Many Thanks



I think they sell kits in Halfords - but I've no idea of the price.


( But being Halfords it will almost certainly end in 99p)



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Halfords will supply all that you need, they have a list of items required by each Country, as usual they all differ. In Germany and some other countries you will need a first Aid kit but make sure that it is DIN marked as others may not contain the required kit. The Spanish police checked mine and looked for the DIN number.

As far as the Yellow jackets go, if you are stopped then put the jacket on BEFORE you exit the vehicle, otherwise you may be commiting an offence. Just depends on which side of the bed the Police got out of.

Don't get paranoid about anything, just be carefull and enjoy, Europe is great for us Motorhomers.


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Thanks for the information ............... some things I knew (spare glasses, hi viz on before getting out but others I didn't 2 triangles for Spain and DIN number on First Aid kit). Sounds like a trip to Halfords to FIND OUT requirements then a bit of time spent finding it cheaper ............... or is there a site somewhere that lists requirements by country (I'm cheating, here, asking, I could search for myself :D :D
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I note from the CC's listing that the no European country now seems to demand that drivers carry spare bulbs for their vehicles, presumably because some modern vehicle lighting systems don't use bulbs! Nevertheless, it's a good common-sense idea to carry appropriate spares just in case a critical bulb fails.


It was never a legal requirement in France that drivers carry spare bulbs (though this was often claimed in UK publications), but the French Highway Code strongly recommends that they do. The reason for this is that, if the French police stop you for a lighting fault and you've got a replacement bulb and can fit it, you will be allowed to proceed with your journey (though you still may be fined!) If you've got no replacement bulb and/or can't fit it, the police may insist you don't continue with your journey until the fault has been rectified (and it's even more likely you'll be fined!) This attitude may well not be confined to France.


It's commonplace for motorhome lights to differ from those fitted to the 'chassis' that forms the basis of the motorhome. If you've got, say, a Fiat-based Hymer A-Class, then it's probable that most of its lights will differ from those fitted to a Fiat Ducato commercial vehicle, so buying a pre-packaged set of bulbs suitable for a commercial Ducato may not be much use. You really need to identify exactly which bulbs are used on your motorhome and then buy the ones you'll need. A pre-packaged set may cover most of the bulbs but possibly not all, in which case you'll need to purchase the 'missing' ones. As regards which bulbs to carry, I suggest you opt for one of each of the bulbs that would cause your motorhome to fail an MOT test if the bulb was found to have failed when the vehicle was tested.

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chas - 2010-08-17 6:30 AM


I belive you require TWO triangles in Spain, to go front and rear of a stranded vehicle. 8-)





You must have two triangles in Spain.

They can be stored anywhere, but the high-viz waisatcoats (and you must have enough for all people in the vehicle), must be stored INSIDE the vehicle, where you can at them without having to leave the vehicle.


You only have to put them on if you break down on a main road outside of an urban area (N-roads or motorways) and you leave the vehicle, but do do so in such circumstances, day or night....there are reports in the Spanish press here this year of Traffic Police fining people for not wearing them whilst they wander around/wait on the motorway hard shoulder.


If yoiu are Very Good Boy, you might also want to get one of those chevron square warning signs to bungee onto your bikes if you've got a bike rack fitted to your MH....apparently you're supposed to in Spain (although almost no-one actually ever bothers in practice).


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BGD - 2010-08-17 5:15 PM


...the high-viz waisatcoats (and you must have enough for all people in the vehicle)...


Are you sure about this, please, as I can find nothing on the internet to confirm it?


Both the Caravan Club and the AA advise that a high-visibility jacket is ‘compulsory equipment’ in Spain.


The CC adds:


“It is also recommended that when high visibility vests are required they are kept in easy reach so you can put on the vest before stepping out of your vehicle, in most countries any person alighting from the vehicle will also need to wear a vest.”


The AA advises:


"Wearing, compulsory if driver and/or passenger(s) exits vehicle immobilised on carriageway...in Spain on all motorways and busy roads..."


I acknowledge that there may well be a (perfectly sensible) Spanish legal requirement for anyone exiting a vehicle in a roadside emergency to wear high-visibility clothing and, on that basis, that it would be logical for drivers to adopt a philosophy of carrying a waistcoat per vehicle-seat, or per person travelling in the vehicle, but that's not the same as there being a Spanish law enforcing this.


I suggest there may be two discrete Spanish waistcoat-related laws:


1. That a specific minimum number of waistcoats must be carried in the vehicle (possibly just one for the driver as in France).


2. That anyone exiting a vehicle in a roadside emergency must wear high-visibility clothing.


If Spanish law does insist that the number of high-visibility waistcoats carried in a vehicle must match the number of people travelling in it, or the number of people the vehicle is homologated to carry, can you please point me to the relevant Spanish legislation? If that information is not available on-line, could you please quote what it says on the subject in the “codigo de la circulación”?

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Hi Derek -


This may help, as it's in English.

It's an extract from the latest (2008?) Edition of the "Motoring in Spain" book by Brian Deller.


He's the ex-pat "Motoring Guru" here in Spain; appears weekly as a guest on the main English language radio station ("Talk Radio Europe") on the Costa Blanca & Costa Del Sol; and has a regular column in a couple of the English language papers here covering all the legal aspects of driving in Spain.........








"As an EU citizen and a tourist, to drive a foreign registered vehicle in Spain you must have with you, and you can be fined for not obeying the following:



1. your passport, current until after your return home


2. Current driving licence, preferably the EU type with the ring of stars


3. Two EU approved, red warning triangles


4. Approved reflective jackets that must be worn by all outside the car at anytime, day or night, outside the vehicle at the side of any highway not in an urban (street lights?) area. The jackets must be kept inside the car so they can be put on before getting out and also must be visible from outside the car. The pocket in the back of the front seat is a good place. The jackets are inexpensive and can be bought at most supermarkets if you do not have them already


5. A set of spare lamps/bulbs for your car and the tool/s to change them


6. If you wear corrective glasses for driving, a spare pair


7. Your number plate should be an EU one with the ring of stars containing your country code, or a small plate/sticker with your country code (GB, etc) should secured to the rear of the car


8. Valid insurance


9. All vehicle documents relating to the car (legally certified copies are OK)


Recommended, but not mandatory is a First Aid kit and a fire extinguisher."




The actual original regs are buried somewhere within the labrynth that is the "leys y Regulacions" section of the Spanish Traffico wesbsite:



I had a five minute trawl around the site but couldn't find the relevant regulations.


Brian Deller's number is: (0034) 952 83 49 93.






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I've now struggled my way through a variety of Spanish websites and (in simplistic terms) I believe Spanish law on high-visibilty vests is as I suggested in my last posting:-


1. It is legally obligatory for at least ONE high-visibility vest to be carried in a vehicle (obviously for the driver!)


2. Everyone leaving a vehicle that's immobile on the carriageway MUST wear a high-visibility vest when they exit that vehicle.

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Thanks again, all


It seems to me that even if the actual legislation is a bit hidden, it is wise to follow all the recommendations, just in case.


We have not yet taken our camapervan abroad, but we have regularly driven hire cars in Spain and the Canaries, and even taken a Spanish hire car into France, and I don't think we have ever had hi viz vests or triangles, and certainly not spare light bulbs or first aid kit. Could we (and all others hiring cars) be fined/prosecuted for not having/using them?


There has been no comment on the headlight deflectors. I assume that these are still required.






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On headlight beam deflectors, yes, they (or some other adaptation to prevent dazzle to oncoming traffic) are necessary, because the standard UK beam pattern will otherwise cause dazzle when driving on the right.  It is not the deflectors that are required per se, just that your headlights do not dazzle others.  This is not just a question of night driving, because headlights are required during poor visibility and rain, under which conditions dazzle can still be caused.  That apart, it is a courtesy to other drivers.
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