New V-16 emergency light replaces warning triangles for vehicle breakdowns


New V-16 emergency light replaces warning triangles for vehicle breakdowns

If you’re unlucky enough to break down on Spanish roads, it’s long been a legal requirement to use warning triangles to make other drivers aware that there’s a hazard.

However, getting out of a stranded vehicle on a busy highway to place these triangles wasn’t ideal from a safety point of view and so the DGT (Spanish Traffic authorities) are phasing the triangles out, to be replaced with the V-16 Emergency light.

The new law for these emergency lights came into force on 1st July 2021, but both the triangles AND the lights will be legal to use until the end of 2025.

What is a V-16 emergency light?
Small enough to fit into your glove compartment, the battery powered light is fitted with a magnet on the base, so you can fix it to the roof of your vehicle without having to open the door.  If you remember Starsky & Hutch, it’s basically the same idea as the flashing blue light they used to plonk on the roof of the striped Torino before a car chase.

The orange flashing light can be seen in all directions and is weather resistant. 

Intelligent lights?
All V-16 lights have geo-location built in, where your location is pinged automatically to the DGT 3.0 cloud, allowing the traffic information screens along the highways to notify other drivers of the hazard ahead. This article on the DGT website describes in detail how the new V16 lights work. 

Some versions have Bluetooth connectivity so you can contact the emergency services or your insurer automatically via your mobile phone.  

Where can you buy these lights?
The DGT recommends two manufacturers specifically, Help Flash and SOS Traffic, but other suppliers are available. The V-16 lights can be bought online ( as well as high street shops like Carrefour, Norauto, Aldi, Leroy Merlin and Alcampo. 

Good to know
Check out the Driving in Spain category on our website for lots of useful information about legal requirements, car maintenance and vehicle registration in Spain.

The information in this article was current on the date published.
Article last reviewed/updated 10.08.2022

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