DGT confirms date on which V-16 emergency lights become mandatory in Spain

DGT confirms date on which V-16 emergency lights become mandatory in Spain

Buying a V-16 breakdown warning light, make sure its legal say DGT Image - Revista DGT

The V-16 emergency lights will become mandatory for all drivers and vehicles in Spain on January 1, 2026.

The Directorate-General for Traffic (DGT) in Spain has confirmed the date by which all vehicles must replace the current mandatory triangles with V-16 emergency lights. This date is January 1, 2026, until which time, this type of warning light is in a transitionary period, allowing drivers time to acquire them.

These new lights have been available to drivers since July 1, 2021. Drivers currently have the option to purchase and use them or to stick with the warning triangles that have been law since 1999, as reported by autopista.es on Wednesday, December 14.

However, not all V-16 lights already purchased will be the regulatory ones or those duly permitted or legal for use as of January 1, 2026. In all cases, the V-16 light signals must have geopositioning or geolocation.

The first models of these V-16 lights that went on the market in Spain did not have this technology. Drivers who bought them should check whether they have that function otherwise it will be necessary to replace them with ones that have the geolocation function.

In all cases, the new V-16 emergency lights emit an orange flashing light and have a surface or base that allows them to perfectly adhere to one of the highest parts of the vehicle, usually the roof. 

As a result, when a vehicle has an incident on the road, the driver will be able to place this illuminated emergency sign on the roof without leaving the vehicle or opening the door, thereby increasing safety conditions.

These new V-16 geolocated devices incorporate their own internal geolocation system. Once turned on or activated, it emits a signal that indicated the exact location of the vehicle every 100 seconds. This function means that operators and officials of the DGT emergency telematics service will know at all times the exact point on the road where the incident is taking place.

This means that when a breakdown or accident is reported practically in real-time to the DGT, in a very short period of time, the emergency services – ambulances, firefighters, Guardia Civil etc – know where to reach the vehicle.

According to official accident statistics, one of the most dangerous situations that occur on the roads is when the driver or one of his companions gets out of a vehicle to place the warning triangles. At this point in time, their chances of being run over reportedly increase exponentially.

Throughout 2021 – the last year for which specific, duly collected and recorded data is available – 26 people died on the interurban highways of Spain after getting out of their vehicles.


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Written by

Chris King

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. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com