What do Spain’s green road lines mean?

Spain trials Green lines on roads

Image showing green road markings. Credit: SocialDrive_es/X

In Spain, the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) is experimenting with a novel road marking that could improve road safety.

The colourful initiative, launched on specific roads within Palencia province, includes painting bright green lines along the edges of lanes. But what’s the reasoning behind this striking choice of colour?

A strategy for safer roads

The essence of these green lines lies in their psychological impact on drivers. By visually narrowing the lanes, they induce a natural response to slow down.

This simple yet effective technique aims to keep vehicles within speed limits, enhancing road safety. Initially trialled on the CL-613 (Palencia-Sahagun) and CL-615 (Palencia-Guardo) roads, the concept draws inspiration from successful schemes within Europe.

Beyond speed control

The introduction of green lines is part of a broader DGT strategy to mitigate speeding and accidents. This approach includes other innovative markings like ‘dragon’s teeth‘—patterns drawn alongside railings to achieve a similar speed-reducing effect.

Such initiatives reflect the agency’s commitment to utilising visual cues for traffic management.

Global inspiration, local implementation

Interestingly, the green line concept isn’t a DGT original. Its roots trace back to Dutch experiments that resulted in promising outcomes in traffic safety.

Inspired by these international successes, Spain seeks to replicate the benefits on its roads. This cross-border learning showcases the global quest for safer driving environments.

In summary, Spain’s DGT is taking bold steps towards improving road safety through psychological cues. By introducing green lines on roads, they aim to subtly influence driving speeds and reduce accident rates.

As these measures expand, drivers will likely adapt to a safer, more conscious approach to road use.

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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.


    • Brian

      31 March 2024 • 15:04

      Can’t see that working very much here in Mallorca! Most speed limits are generally ignored (unless there’s a Guardia presence about!)

    • John McLean

      31 March 2024 • 17:58

      What be another Idea would be to stop people from parking right up to Pedestrian crossings similar to the UK

    • Carl Mirk

      01 April 2024 • 08:43

      John McLean made a very good comment regarding parking at pedestrian crossings. This is a genuine road safety issue because it is incredibley dangerous to both pedestrians and vehicle drivers. No parking should be allowed within 5 meters of any crossing so drivers can see people at the crossing but I guess there is no money in it for the council or police so this will not happen any day soon. It always amazes me that the DGT believe all problems will be solved by finacial penalties which everyone knows makes no difference. Stupid low speed limits where they are not neccessary is only a money making scam, badly designed road junctions and there are many in Spain. If the DGT genuinely care about road safety they should start paying attention to road conditions, road surfaces, pot holes, poorly mark road markings. Never mind green road signs in our provence you are lucky if you actually see a white line on the road. Spain always likes to talk it self up but actually does little for the people. Forget the green lines on roads just make sure there are WHITE LINES THAT WE CAN ACTUALLY SEE.

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