Can You Be Fined If There Is No Speed Limit Sign?

Legal Debate On Mobile Speed Cameras

DGT stopping drivers. Credit: Juan-Carlos-L.-Ruiz

Recently in Madrid, a spate of fines from a stealthily placed speed trap has sparked a legal debate.

Is it fair to be fined by a hidden speed camera? Recently, a mobile speed camera on the old El Plantio road, a route connecting Madrid and Majadahonda, has been the centre of a heated controversy, writes 20 Minutos.

The events were highlighted a few days ago and involved a mobile speed radar. It was positioned between Spain’s capital and Majadahonda, accruing numerous penalties over the last month.

Radar Controversy In Urban Spain

In urban areas of Spain, radars are typically managed by city councils, who also issue penalties for speeding. However, recent disputes have arisen over some councils’ traffic fine collection methods.

The latest outcry involves the Madrid Municipal Police’s deployment of a mobile radar on the old El Plantio road. This road links Madrid and Majadahonda.

The El Plantio Radar Case

The controversy stems from the radar’s location in a 30 km/h zone without clear signage. The Association of European Motorists (AEA) confirms the absence of signs indicating the 30 km/h limit.

Many drivers mistakenly believe the speed limit to be 40 or even 50 km/h, given the road’s dual lanes at the start.

Legal Responses And Clarifications

Madrid City Council argues that the default speed limit on single-lane urban roads is 30 km/h, negating the need for signs. However, AEA plans to contest the fines, similar to a successful case in the Fuencarral district.

Moreover, a meeting is scheduled between Madrid and Majadahonda town councils to discuss signage on the affected road section.

Legality Of Unmarked Mobile Radars

Contrary to fixed speed cameras, which must be preceded by warning signs, mobile devices have been a grey area. The DGT has clarified that mobile radars can be placed anywhere on Spanish roads without prior signage, as per Royal Decree regulations.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.