Explainer: Understanding The DGT’s New ‘Dragon’s Teeth’ Road Markings In Spain

Image of dragon's teeth road markings in Spain.

Image of dragon's teeth road markings in Spain. Credit: Twitter@mitmagob

THE Directorate-General for Traffic (DGT) is constantly updating or introducing new elements to the Spanish road network in an effort to increase safety.

In September 2021, the so-called ‘dragon’s teeth’ road markings started appearing before pedestrian crossings on some sections of the N-232 in the Leida municipality of Torrefarrera.

They are simple white triangles painted on both sides of a single lane and located inside the white lines of that lane, pointing inwards.

These markings are designed by the DGT to inform motorists in advance that they should expect to find something to which they should pay attention a few metres ahead of that section of road.

Motorists should reduce speed when seeing these markings

Specifically, the new road markings indicate that, just ahead, there is a section of the road where a driver must slow down, possibly in the case of a zebra crossing.

This allows the road user to anticipate what is coming up ahead while exponentially improving road safety, both for themselves and pedestrians.

The geometric symbols are painted on the tarmac at a distance of 1.5 metres apart from each other, with the edge that borders the lane line itself measuring exactly 75 cm.

They appear on the road 30 metres before the ‘critical point’ is reached, allowing a vehicle to reduce its speed considerably in that distance.

As a result of being painted with their vertices pointing to the inside of the lane along which a vehicle is travelling, the ‘dragon’s teeth’ instinctively give motorists a false impression that the road is actually narrower than it is. This design is believed to make the driver slow down automatically.

Along with the ‘dragon teeth’, the DGT also introduced the so-called ‘broken edge lines’, which fulfil a very similar function. These white zigzag signs are painted on the outer sides of the lanes and indicate the immediacy of a zebra crossing, so the driver should also slow down when seeing them.

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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