By Chris King • 19 November 2021 • 3:33
Countries such as Portugal, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom already use the B1 driving licence, but not Spain. This could soon change, as the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT), along with several other entities, are working in parallel for its possible start-up.
One sticking point appears to be the fact that this format of licence allows anybody aged 16 and over to drive heavy quadricycles, small vehicles, mostly with low pollution, and with a maximum of 20.4 CV of power – 15 kW, as established by the European regulations.
This type of permit has been regulated by the European Union since 2006, as a step prior to B (with which passenger cars are driven). If enabled, it would empower “stepped access to electric mobility for young people from 16 years of age”, which is one of the arguments causing discussion.
PONS Seguridad Vial, the consulting firm, and the Business Association for the Development and Promotion of Electric Mobility (AEDIVE) propose the introduction of a new category of driving license in Spain to achieve “rational and staggered access to driving cars”.
Although the market still does not offer massively heavy quads, it is one of the anticipated trends. The DGT has confirmed to El Motor that Pere Navarro, the director of the organization, is in talks with agents of the sector to carry out the proposal. “We are open to implementing the B1 permit in Spain”, said Navarro, without offering more information.
This permit is optional in EU countries, according to article 4 of this directive. The two entities argue that its implementation would promote electric mobility and facilitate “a safer alternative to traditional means of transport”.
Currently in Spain, at 15 years of age, you can drive a light tricycle or microcar with a maximum speed of 45 km/h. At 16 years of age the A1 license allows you to drive motorcycles up to 125cc, with a maximum power of 11 kW.
Jesus Monclus, the road safety expert from the Mapfre Foundation, cautiously assesses the possibility of implementing the B1 driving license which gives access to vehicles up to 400 kilos, and a maximum of 90 km/h.
“In favor or opposing? Perhaps it is necessary to open a calmer debate to assess its pros and cons, if any. For example, how can we measure the maturity of a 16, or 17-year-old driver, or what kind of road training and would tests or exams would be required, if necessary?”, he asked, adding that heavy quads would be “safer than a two-wheeled motor vehicle without any protective structure around it”.
Training is key in his opinion, because “new types of vehicles, mainly scooters, are driven by users on the streets, and they do not know 100 per cent of the traffic regulations”, as reported by motor.elapis.com.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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