Chapter 2: Use of Public Roads

2.1 Parts of the road

Carriageway (UK)/Roadway (USA): All cars and special vehicles over 3500kg will drive on a carriageway/roadway.

Hard Shoulder: The following are required to use the hard shoulder:

  • Special vehicles 3500kg or less
  • 2-wheeled and 3-wheeled mopeds and light quadricycles
  • Cycles
  • Pedestrians and animals
  • Vehicles for people with reduced mobility
  • Those driving in an emergency, disrupting circulation, up to 3500kg

Note: Two cyclists side by side may travel on either the shoulder or the roadway, except on motorways, where they are not permitted to travel at all.

Parts of the road

Standards of conduct, prohibitions:

  • Throwing objects on the road
  • Driving with unapproved tinted glass
  • Using the phone without hands-free
  • Wearing headphones while driving
  • Using DVD, internet or monitors except the GPS system
  • Driving with noise levels above those permitted
  • Releasing more exhaust through the exhaust pipe (UK) / tail pipe (USA) than allowed
  • Driving without an exhaust silencer(UK) / muffler(USA)
  • When refuelling: stop the engine, disconnect the electrical systems and switch off mobile phones

2.2 Vehicle traffic

  • Interurban roads: Located outside built-up areas, drive in the right lane as a general rule.
    • 3-lane two-way interurban road: Travel is in the right lane, to overtake and change directions to the left, the centre lane may be used.
    • 3-lane one-way interurban road: Travel is on the right and you can use the other lanes when needed, except for vehicles with trailers longer than 7m and trucks over 3500kg, which may not use the lane farthest to the left.
  • Urban roads: Located in a built-up-areas (including cross-town roads), travel is in the lane that best suits the destination.
Motorway (autopista) Dual Carriageway (autovía)
  • No hitchhiking
  • Mopeds, pedestrians, animals, and cyclists may not enter
  • In case of emergency, use the next exit
  • No hitchhiking
  • Mopeds, pedestrians and animals may not enter
  • Cyclists may enter if over age 14
  • In case of emergency, use the next exit

2.3 Special lanes:

RAS reversible lanes additional lane opposite-direction lane
Obligations Reversible Additional Opposite-Direction
Headlights day and night YES YES YES
Speed between 60-80 km/h NO YES YES
All cars may enter except cars with trailers. ALL may enter because of construction NO NO YES

The initials of each special lane form the word RAO. The first obligation is lighting, the second is speed, and the third is access restriction.

reversible lane

Reversible: Usually located in a built-up area, they are marked by lane traffic lights and double dashed road markings.

additional lane

Additional: This lane can be used by all vehicles except those required to travel on the hard shoulder. The speed and lighting rules apply to all vehicles travelling on the carriageway/roadway.

opposite-direction lane

Opposite direction: This lane does not allow: overtaking, moving to the side or crossing the imaginary line formed by cones

VAO Lane

VAO Lane: High occupancy vehicle lane:

  • Can be used by:
    • Cars, adaptable mixed vehicles, and motorcycles up to 3500kg and carrying the number of occupants indicated by the signage
    • Priority emergency service vehicles
    • Vehicles for people with reduced mobility
  • They cannot be used by:
    • Lorries/Trucks or vehicles with trailers

Bus lane

Bus lane: Used exclusively for public transport vehicles. If taxis are also indicated, they may also use the lane.

Deceleration lane

Deceleration lane: For exiting a high-speed road. Drivers should access this lane as soon as possible.

Acceleration lane

Acceleration lane: For entering a high-speed road. Drivers must give way, even stopping if necessary.

Unit test