As summer 2018 is about to come to a close, this weekend marks the last busy weekends on the roads.
Starting at 15:00 on Friday, the DGT is preparing for an estimated 4.2 million journeys by road this weekend, in a special operation that will run until midnight on Sunday.
Operation “Retorno del Verano” will see most of the remaining domestic tourists return from the coastal and mountainous regions to their inland homes.
The main concentrations of traffic, will follow a few basic profiles:
- Tourists returning from to large urban centres, which will happen all weekend, especially on Sunday.
- Typical trips for a summer weekend to beaches, and leisure and retail areas.
- Displacements towards other European countries of habitual residence.
As always during busy weekends like this, the special operation will see a number of protocols implemented to provide a smoother flow of traffic.
This will include:
- The installation of additional and reversible lanes with cones at the busiest times on the main access roads to large cities.
- The restriction of the movement of vehicles of dangerous goods, special transport and trucks in general and those that transport certain goods in certain sections, dates and times.
- The paralysis of road works on the roads and limitation to the holding of sports events and other events involving the occupation of the road.
- The provision of recommended alternate routes according to origin and destination, to avoid the downtown area, which is the one with the highest intensity and the design of itineraries from the coastal area to Madrid with distances and travel times.
- The intensification of speed controls, with special attention to large excesses carried out by foreign vehicles, with the aim of reducing the incident rate caused by driving at inadequate or excessive speeds. The controls will be made at the roadside and from the air.
All available staff will be on duty throughout the weekend, including:
- Around 6,000 traffic officers from the Guardia Civil who will ensure safety on the road, assist drivers who need it and monitor that safe driving is carried out, according to the rules of the road.
- More than 600 officials and specialised technical personnel of the DGT in the seven Traffic Management Centres.
- More than 13,000 employees of conservation and exploitation companies of the Ministry of Public Works and the rest of the road’s licensees, as well as personnel from the emergency services.
Despite all of the measures being put in place, there is one factor still outside the direct control of the DGT, the actions and attitudes of individual drivers. It is important to be aware that the roads are shared spaces, and the responsibility for safe movement lies with every single road user.
According to the Director General of Traffic, Pere Navarro, “the device we have prepared, will have real meaning if all the different road users are aware of the responsibility we have when we get on the road… The actions we take on the road have a direct and chained impact on other road users, therefore prudence and respect for traffic regulations is essential.”
You should plan your route before leaving, allowing extra time for your journey than you might think. You can follow the DGT on Twitter for up to date travel information, @informacionDGT and @DGTes, and monitor live traffic, updated every few minutes, at www.dgt.es.
Take breaks at least every two hours, and as soon as you start to feel tired, as fatigue and sleep whilst driving are a continual cause of incidents.
Do not drink alcohol or use drugs when driving. Although alcohol limits exist, the best advice is always to consume zero if you´re driving. Alcohol and drugs both can have deadly consequences.
Respect the maximum permitted speed limits on each road and maintain the safety distance with the preceding vehicle.
Keep all the occupants of the vehicle secure, ensuring they wear a seatbelt on all journeys, remembering also that children under 135 cm in height must sit in the rear seats and with an appropriate child restraint system.
Pay special attention to motorcycles, and cycles, as they are especially vulnerable, especially on curves and on secondary roads. Motorcyclists and cyclists, remember to adhere to the rules too.
Remember that if you are going to overtake a cyclist, the law requires that you keep a minimum lateral separation of 1.5 metres as you pass, and you must not endanger or hinder the progress of cyclists.