Operation Departure for the August 15 bridge begins this Friday at 3:00 p.m. with more than 8.5 million planned journeys by road until next Tuesday. Before the first stages of the operation, a DGT helicopter crashed on a plot located in the Almeria municipality of La Mojonera, which has not left any serious injuries at the moment.
At mid-morning this Friday, the first complications have already been registered in Tarragona at the entrance to the AP7 in Roda de Bará and in Seville in Huévar del Aljarafe, in the direction of Huelva. In addition, a fire causes traffic jams in Barcelona, on the AP7, in Montmeló in both directions and the fire of a vehicle causes slow traffic in Cuenca, on the A3, in Saelices, towards Tarancón. Slow traffic has been registered in Madrid on the A3 in Rivas, in Valladolid on the A6 in Tordesillas towards Lugo, in Toledo on the A4 in Ocaña towards Albacete and in Málaga on the A97 in Las Chapas towards Marbella. Also in Albacete on the A30, in Chinchilla de Montearagón towards the entrance and in Murcia on the A7 in Espinardo in both directions. The General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) has requested caution in Alicante on the A70 at the height of Ciudad de Asís in the Valencia direction.
In August, the precautionary warnings from the DGT are redoubled, since it is the month in which the highest number of road trips of the entire year is registered. In the current summer period, more than 49 million trips are expected. This long weekend, the departure and return trips due to the change of fortnight are joined with those made to coastal and beach areas and second homes. Short-distance trips will also increase —especially at night and early morning— due to the festivities that are celebrated in various towns in the national territory.
Traffic has insisted that drivers take extreme road safety measures and emphasizes not driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. During the bridge, preventive measures for speed, alcohol and drug control will be intensified. This Operation Exit coincides with the special campaign of surveillance and control of alcohol and drugs that the traffic agents of the Civil Guard and the Police will carry out from next Monday both on highways and in urban centers.
Alcohol is a factor that has increased among drivers involved in fatal traffic accidents in the last year. More than half (51.9%) of the analyzes of drivers who died in traffic accidents in 2022 tested positive for alcohol, other drugs or psychotropic drugs, according to the National Institute of Toxicology.
As of August 10, 658 people have lost their lives on the road, which is 4% less than in the same period of 2022. In the month of July, 115 people died in traffic accidents, 15 fewer than in July of last year . The summer months have become the most dangerous to drive. The density of traffic, the recklessness of drivers and the fatigue due to the duration of the journeys are some of the causes of the increase in mortality on highways in this period of the year, according to a study by the Línea Directa Foundation. This work concluded that every day of the summer five people died in traffic accidents, a rate 20.5% higher than in non-holiday periods and significantly higher than that of other holidays.
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A novelty this summer is the end of the mandatory nature of signaling triangles on motorways and highways, from July 1. Traffic announced this measure at the end of June, due to the “high risk” that existed on high-capacity roads when going down to place the triangle. The average number of pedestrians killed after getting out of the vehicle in the last five years has been 22 people, according to DGT figures. The alternative to this option that avoids getting out of the vehicle is the V16 light signal, which is placed on top of the car, but which will not be mandatory until January 2026.
Traffic predicts that this Friday afternoon, mainly between 4:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., traffic problems will occur at the exits of large cities and on the main communication routes to access tourist areas on the coast, second homes, and populations at parties.
On Saturday morning, between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., the intense traffic leaving urban centers will continue, as well as in destination areas late in the morning, which will be added to the usual short-distance access to beaches.
On Sunday the 13th, there will be delays in the morning at the accesses to the coast and on the roads that link coastal towns with access to beaches and at the accesses to large urban centers due to local movements and short journeys to nearby leisure areas, their return It will take place late in the afternoon. Between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. the return will begin, but it will be the time of least traffic intensity, as Tuesday the 15th is a holiday throughout Spain.
Monday will be the calmest day of this operation. During this day, the usual movements of entry and exit to large urban centers will take place because it is a working day. In the morning, the access roads to the coast and those that connect coastal towns with access to beaches will be conflictive. In the afternoon, there will be movements to leave the large urban centers as the following day is a holiday and also due to the change of fortnight.
On Tuesday the 15th in the morning, there may be traffic problems at the accesses to the coast and on the roads that link coastal towns. Between 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., the return of those who are finishing their rest days will begin. Problems can arise in the main communication routes that channel all the return movement, from the tourist areas of the coast to the accesses of the large urban centers.
-Traffic warns never to let your guard down, for trips to towns that celebrate local festivals, even if they are short projects, put on your seat belt, respect speed limits and road signs.
-In the event that alcohol has been ingested, even if the maximum allowed has not been reached, it is better to let someone who has not drunk drive, consider the possibility of using public transport or rest and spend the night in hostels, hotels or in your own car until you can travel safely.
-On long journeys, make sure the vehicle is in optimal condition and check the lighting, the condition of the brakes and the tires.
-Also, plan the trip by the safest route and avoid the most conflictive hours.
-Finally, take breaks every two hours. Traffic reminds that fatigue and sleep can cause accidents.
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