Article 98 General rules

by Mark Nolan

1. All vehicles travelling between sunset and sunrise or at any time of day in tunnels, underpasses and track sections affected by the “Tunnel” signal (S-5) must have the corresponding lighting switched on, according to what is determined in this section.

Pay special attention to the new models of vehicles that come with “daytime running lights”.  These are lights that remain illuminated on the vehicle front while the engine is running but do not have enough power to light the road and for driving, as they are merely designed to make the vehicle more visible to other road users, not to illuminate the road.

When the vehicle is started up and the “daytime running light” device is turned on, the vehicle’s control panel sometimes illuminates, which is why many drivers mistakenly think that the car’s lights were automatically switched on. Then they put it into drive thinking that they have lights on and the reality is that, as DRL´s often only illuminate at the front of the vehicle, they are driving without any rear lights and only with the daytime lights on the front.


Something that sometimes happens when tourists arrive in Spain at night is that they  rent a car with these characteristics, but do not know how it works and when they hit the road they do not realise that they are driving without the correct lights, creating dangerous situations.


Please, if you are going to drive a car that is not yours, find out how it works. You must know how to correctly use the vehicle’s dashboard before going on the road. Many drivers suddenly enter a tunnel and then start looking how to turn on the lights, endangering other road users.


Lights must be switched on before entering the tunnel and if you do not know how the control panel works, you will have problems doing this and will endanger other road users. Please take a few minutes to know the car that you have purchased or are using so as to enjoy your trip safely.


You will be fined for driving without any type of light if you only have “daytime running lights” or sidelights illuminated.


2. The regulation of lighting systems that are not prohibited, or in everything that is not expressly provided for in this chapter or in other precepts of this regulation, shall be adjusted to the provisions of the regulations governing vehicles.

3. Bicycles, in addition, should be equipped with the reflective elements that, duly approved, are determined in the General Vehicle Regulations. When the use of lighting is mandatory, bicycle riders must also wear a reflective garment that allows drivers and other users to distinguish them at a distance of 150 metres, if they travel by interurban route.


To travel at night, along stretches of roads marked with the “tunnel” sign or when there are weather or environmental conditions that significantly reduce visibility, bicycles, must have:

Reflectors on the front and back, not triangular (white at the front, red at the back).

Reflectors on the pedals (orange).

In addition, when the use of lighting is mandatory, bicycle riders will wear some garment or reflective element that allows other road users to distinguish them at 150 metres.

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