Where mopeds can travel in Madrid

Publicado el 20/09/2018
¿Por dónde pueden circular los ciclomotores en Madrid?

A motorcycle isn’t the same as a moped. It’s essential to know where mopeds can travel before you think about getting one.

Motorcycles are motor vehicles, whilst mopeds are two, three or four-wheeled vehicles that, in no case, should exceed 50cc and are not considered motor vehicles.

Driving a moped in the city: Road or hard shoulder?

The maximum speed limit for a moped is 45 kilometres per hour, and they must not travel side by side with other vehicles using the same hard shoulder. This regulation does not apply to two-wheeled mopeds. In such cases, these vehicles may travel side by side provided that said hard shoulder is wide enough and passable.

These 50cc vehicles must travel on the right-hand side and as close to the pavement as possible. On road sections they must travel on the hard shoulder just like pedestrians, animals, animal-drawn vehicles, cyclists, mopeds, tractors, mobility vehicles, and vehicles suffering a breakdown or emergency.

In large cities such as Madrid, they are exempt from the limitations set by Madrid City Council when pollutions levels are high.

Mopeds are not allowed to travel on the M-30 in Madrid for road safety reasons as it is mostly a motorway. This regulation follows the traffic code issued by the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) which bans mopeds from travelling on motorways and dual carriageways.

However, motorcycles with cylinders exceeding 50cc must travel on the roadway, not the hard shoulder, on the M-30. The hard shoulder may only be used in the event of breakdowns or when additional lanes are opened due to works on the carriageway or traffic flow.

Unlike mopeds, they may travel on motorways and dual carriageways and must observe the speed limit indicated on road signs. Similarly, there are also restrictions on lorries and heavy vehicles when travelling on this road.

Tightened anti-pollution measures now include motorcycles

Under the new action plans which will come into force in Madrid after the summer, motorcycles will also be subject to relevant restrictions in line with their environmental labels when pollution levels are high, unlike mopeds which are still exempt from such restrictions.

The new DGT regulations also include restrictions on districts away from the M-30 and extend, from four to five, the level of traffic restrictions on vehicles based on different scenarios and their level of emissions:

  1. The speed limit on the M-30 and its access roads will be set at 70 kilometres per hour.
  2. Only vehicles with CERO and ECO labels will be able to park In Regulated Parking Service (SER) areas. Motorcycles without an environmental label will not be able to travel on the M-30 or in the central almond area of the city.
  3. Only vehicles with CERO and ECO labels may park in SER areas. The ban on the use of vehicles without an environmental label covers the whole city.
  4. The same restrictions apply in scenario three and, additionally, limitations are extended to type B vehicles which may not travel on the M-30 or in the central almond area of the city.
  5. Scenario 5 bans the use of all unlabelled vehicles, and type B and C vehicles across the whole city.

Other regulations to follow when driving a moped

It is important to be aware of other regulations that must be followed when riding a moped so as to avoid risks and not put other road users in danger:

  • Mopeds must adjust their speed according to road conditions, traffic flow, and adverse weather conditions, although they may never exceed 45 kilometres per hour,
  • It is essential to keep a safe distance from other vehicles in order to be able to stop the moped in the event of abrupt and sudden braking by the vehicle in front. Said distance, if travelling at the maximum speed limit, must be approximately 25 metres.
  • At intersections, moped riders must pay special attention to traffic signals, reduce their speed, correctly indicate lane changes and turns, and give way to vehicles approaching from the right at roundabouts.
  • Moped riders must wear suitable clothing and protect the most vulnerable parts of the body. Using an approved helmet is essential.
  • Ensuring that lights are working correctly and the use of a reflective jacket are recommended for night-time driving.
  • Reducing speed and driving responsibly are recommended in adverse weather conditions.

Knowing these driving regulations and tips are extremely important when driving a moped in Madrid, as is being aware of the restrictions on other types of vehicles such as any subsequent anti-pollution measures which may be put in place.

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