In Italy and Spain, vehicles with protruding loads need to be equipped with rear warning signs that warn following vehicles about potential hazards. The regulation is especially relevant for travellers with cars or campervans with bike racks on the rear. Not having the warning signs could result in a fee of approx. 80 € in Italy or 200 € in Spain.
Note: The Italian and the Spanish regulation are different from each other which means that you need two different warning signs, each complying with the respective specifications.
What Do the Warning Signs of Both Countries Have in Common?
- Loads or attachments protruding to the rear exceeding the overall length of the vehicle as entered in the vehicle registration book need to be equipped with a retroreflective (RA2), red and white striped warning sign.
- Rear carriers WITHOUT load are also considered as protruding load and therefore require the warning plate.
- Both countries demand warning signs with min. dimensions 500 x 500 mm. The signs have to be made out of sheet metal and have type approval. Earlier approved plastic signs can still be used if type-approved.
- The warning plate is to be attached to the end of the protruding part of the load in such a way that it always points transversely to the direction of travel. It is not permitted to attach cargo that protrudes to the front.
- If the load protruding to the rear occupies the entire width of the vehicle, two warning signs must be attached to the rear: one at each end of the load. They must be attached in such a way that the stripes point downwards towards the centre of the road.
What are the Differences Between the Warning Signs for Spain and Italy?
In Italy, the regulations regarding the rear warning signs are defined in art. 165 Codice della Strada , in Spain they are defined in sec. V-20 of attachment XI of the Reglamento General de Vehículos (which is why the plates are also called “señal V-20”).
- The warning signs must be marked with the national type approval which differs between the countries.
- Appearance: The Spanish warning sign | has three white and three red stripes; the Italian warning sign | has four white and five red stripes. In addition, the Spanish warning sign has a black border.
- While in Italy the load may protrude a maximum of 30 % of the vehicle length, Spain specifies a maximum of 15 % of the vehicle’s length for indivisible loads and 10 % for divisible loads.
Are 2 in 1 Warning Signs for Spain and Italy Permitted?
Although they can be found in various shops, the double-sided warning signs for Spain and Italy are not permitted. The two warning signs have different requirements regarding material and colour and therefore cannot be combined in one sign. Since the use of the two in one warning signs will be fined in both countries, only official products should be used.