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Since March 30th, wearing a mask has been obligatory in all public places in Spain, whether inside or outside. With the introduction of the new regulations, several questions arose, one of the most confusing of which has been if drivers can be fined if they don’t wear a mask inside their vehicle.

The answer is yes. However, the reason for the penalty is not based on traffic regulations but health measures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

To make the requirements clear, the Spanish Dirección General de Tráfico ( General Directorate of Traffic – DGT) published an announcement about the use of masks in vehicles yesterday.

The use of the mask is a matter of public health and a sanitary measure, which the DGT does not have any rights to enforce. For this reason, its non-use “is not a traffic offence” so it is not punishable by a fine or penalty points on your driver’s license” – the statement reads.

When do you have to wear a mask inside a vehicle?

Drivers don’t have to wear a mask inside their vehicle if they are travelling alone or with a family member, but otherwise, wearing a face-covering is a must.

How much is the fine for the lack of the mask?

Drivers can face a fine of €100 if they are caught driving a vehicle without a mask and having someone outside their household inside the vehicle. The legal basis to issue such a fine is defined in the laws for urgent prevention, containment and coordination of the Covid-19 health crisis.

Putting on or taking off a mask while driving is considered careless driving

While not wearing a mask in the vehicle is not a traffic offence, putting it on or taking it off while driving is. Because you need to take your hand off the steering wheel to remove your mask, DGT sees this action as being equally dangerous to holding a mobile in your hand while driving.

Therefore, it can be considered as careless driving and entail fines of 200 euros as well as 3 penalty points.

The above tweet by DGT is intended to remind drivers of the consequences of being distracted at the wheel.

Photo credit @ DGT


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