DOCTOR'S ORDERS FOR UNFIT DRIVERS?
THE GOVERNMENT is considering law amendments which would oblige GPs to advise the Traffic Department (DGT) if a patient is considered unfit to drive.
At present, confidentiality rules prevent doctors giving such warnings to the traffic authorities, except if the patient is considered to be a danger to herself, himself or others.
The government is in the process of reforming parts of the Road Safety Act and is aiming to improve coordination between the DGT and health authorities.
The Committee on Road Safety in Congress is exploring ways in which GPs could raise the alarm if someone with a driving licence has an injury or suffers from a condition which diminishes their capabilities.
Tráfico could then suspend the person's licence, according to the proposals presented by the ruling PP party.
The committee considers that the five- or 10-year health checks required for driving licence renewals in Spain may be insufficient for the detection of such conditions.
Holders of a Class B, the most common amongst private drivers, are required to be checked every 10 years to age 65, and every five years thereafter.
Other aspects of the traffic laws currently under debate include whether it should be compulsory for motorcyclists and moped-riders to wear protective jackets and safe footwear, the latter aimed at outlawing two-wheeled motorists driving in flip-flops.
The committee is also considering upgrading the requirements for crash barriers in an effort to reduce the number of motorcyclists who die every year on Spanish roads as a result of impacting against them.