Traffic Laws for Cyclists in Mallorca
A simple explanation
Mallorca has a long and rich cycling history and, unlike many other countries we are blessed with local drivers who are respectful of cyclists.
The traffic laws here are probably not identical to those in your home country, so here is an outline of the current main laws and advisories regarding cyclists in Spain and the sanctions they entail if they are violated.
Like other drivers, cyclists must know and must respect the traffic laws.
Using a mobile phone or headphones whilst riding: €200
While riding a bike, it is strictly prohibited to use a mobile phone. Headphones connected to receivers or sound players are also prohibited. Headphones limit hearing and can cause distractions.
It is advisable but not mandatory to use bike lanes.
For safety, in the city and on the road it is always advisable – not mandatory – to circulate on bike lanes whenever they are available.
Alcohol limits and tests are the same as for drivers.
Yes, the maximum blood alcohol level for drivers in general (0.5 g/l of blood alcohol or exhaled alcohol greater than 0.25 milligrams per litre) also affects cyclists. Cyclists are also obliged, like other drivers, to undergo a breathalyser test if required.
Fines of between €500 and €1,000 (depending on the level).
Two abreast not all the time.
Cyclists are allowed to ride in rows of two on the road, only when it is safe to do so, staying as far as possible to the right of the road.
On curves or on sections without visibility cyclists must ride in single file.
Riding on the road in groups incorrectly: €100
Lights are required when it is dark or in a dark place.
Whenever riding at night, or in darker places like underpasses or in tunnels, cyclists must have their lights on in front and behind to see and be seen.
Not using lights: €200
When it is mandatory to turn on your bike lights, you must also wear reflective clothing so that other drivers can see you from at least 150 metres away.
Riding without reflective clothing: €80
Pedestrians have priority on crossings.
Cyclists must also yield at a properly marked pedestrian crossing and when turning onto another road and there are pedestrians crossing it, even if there is no crossing.
Failure to respect the priority of pedestrians: €200
Priority of passage.
Cyclists have priority over motor vehicles when travelling on a bicycle lane, a cycle path or a properly marked shoulder.
In all other situations, they must respect the priorities of other users as established by the rules and signs.
Failure to respect priority at an intersection: €200
Groups of cyclists on roundabouts and intersections.
Cyclists when travelling in groups have priority – all of them, from first to last – on roundabouts, as well as in the rest of the intersections, when the first of the cyclists has already entered it.
Safely enter an intersection or roundabout.
All cyclists must – like the rest of the drivers – observe the road they are going to join, check that there are no other vehicles that will be affected before signalling then entering the new road.
Entering the new road in a dangerous way: €200 (ride leaders of groups need to take note of the point above).
Respect all traffic lights.
Traffic lights are for drivers and riders of all vehicles, including cyclists.
Ignoring a traffic light: €150 – €500
As well as when entering a new road on a bicycle, it is also mandatory to signal other manoeuvres, such as turns, changes of direction and changes of of lanes.
The signs can be made both with the right arm, by extending it horizontally at shoulder height, and with the left, by bending it at an angle.
Failure to signal a manoeuvre: €200
Mandatory helmet wear.
Wearing an approved protective helmet is mandatory for all cyclists on the open road, except in three circumstances: during long climbs, for medical reasons, or in extreme heat.
It is essential the helmet is of correct fit and worn fastened to prevent it from coming loose.
Not wearing a helmet when it is mandatory: €200
Pedestrian crossings, walking.
Contrary to what many cyclists think, bikes do not have priority at pedestrian crossings (not to be confused with cyclist crossings). For cyclists to cross a pedestrian crossing, it is mandatory to get off your bike and walk rather than ride across it.
Crossing a pedestrian crossing without getting off the bike: €200
No riding on the pavement / sidewalk.
It is prohibited to ride a bike on a pavement / sidewalk and in pedestrian areas, unless it is marked as a bike lane for shared use with pedestrians.
Riding on the pavement / sidewalk: €100
Ride on the right.
In the city, bicycles must circulate as close to the right hand side of the road as possible, leaving a safety margin from the curb or parked vehicles. If you go in a group, you can ride at most two abreast, but only where it is safe to do so.
Riding in the city in a group without order: €100
Not riding on the right: €100
Riding on the hard shoulder.
On the road, cyclists must use the hard shoulder / breakdown lane of the road if it exists.
But, on a long descent and only if it is safe to do so, the cyclist may move out of it.
Riding on the road when it is possible to ride on the hard shoulder: €200
It is advisable but not mandatory to warn of sudden braking.
The cyclist can warn of sudden braking by moving their arm alternately from top to bottom, with short, quick movements. This is advisable but in no case mandatory, since it requires releasing the handlebars.
One passenger up to 7 years old
On bicycles, it is only allowed to carry one passenger up to 7 years of age, in an approved additional seat, as long as the driver is of legal age.
Carrying a child or other person incorrectly: €100