Spain approves tougher driving penalties

Following a campaign by the widow of a cyclist killed in a hit and run accident, the Spanish government has approved tougher penalties for serious traffic offences.

The husband of Anna González was killed after being hit by a truck back in 2015. The driver of the vehicle fled the scene but was later found after police traced debris back to his truck.

Under Spanish traffic laws, it is the duty of anyone in the area of an accident to help victims whether they were directly involved or not. Failure to do so is considered a serious offence.

A loophole in the old law, however only referred to victims who were alive, which in the case of Anna’s husband did not apply as he was pronounced dead at the scene. Because of this loophole, the driver of the truck was not punished severely enough.

Now, thanks to Anna’s campaigning the law has been changed to include abandonment and carries a jail term of 2-4 years.

The new law also includes lesser offences such as overtaking where it is forbidden, failing to stop at a stop sign or running a traffic light, using a mobile phone whilst driving and failing to keep a safe distance of 1.5 metres when passing a cyclist.

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