Regulations on the Use of Bicycle Trailers

Surely everyone has called our attention to observe the circulation of a bicycle that has anchored in its back a trailer and in which a child travels inside. As it turns out that in Spain, the use of a trailer this way is completely prohibited according to the General Circulation Regulations.

The regulation was modified since the previous Regulation because years ago, it was not allowed to transport any trailer pulled by a two-wheeled vehicle. I noticed seeing foreign motorcycles circulating without any problem with trailers attached to their rear while here was completely banned. Subsequently changed the norm, being established today as follows:

Trailers for bicycles, according to Regulation

4. Motorcycles, three-wheel vehicles, mopeds and cycles and bicycles may tow a trailer or semi-trailer provided they do not exceed 50 per cent of the unladen mass of the towing vehicle and the following conditions are met:

4.1. The circulation will be of day and in conditions that do not diminish the visibility.
4.2. The speed at which the vehicle is driven under these conditions will be reduced by 10 per cent compared to the generic speeds established for these vehicles in Article 48.

4.3. In no case may people be transported in the towed vehicle.

In urban circulation will be to the provisions by the corresponding ordinances.

As we see and with respect to cycling, it is very important to take into account points 4.1 and 4.3. The first, relating to night driving, prohibits us from using them at night or during times of heavy rain or fog. In these cases, it is left to the interpretation of the Traffic Agent if the existing conditions on the road endanger the cyclist and the other users.

The third point, 4.3, makes perfectly clear the complete prohibition to take anyone inside the trailer. Only goods, and with respect to pets can be carried, they are not named directly so in principle if they could be carried legally.

But this regulation is only applicable outside the town. Inside, it is the municipal ordinances that regulate the use or not of the trailer and under what circumstances. For example, in Barcelona it is permitted, as can be seen in the Pedestrian and Vehicle Circulation Ordinance of Barcelona.

Bicycles may be towed, approved, for the transport of persons, animals or merchandise, when the driver is of legal age and under his responsibility.

Whether or not more municipalities conform to the circulation of this form or, they simply turn a blind eye and as long as the driver is seen in a responsible manner do not take any measures.

In order to avoid this, the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) has drawn up a municipal ordinance regulating traffic, so that each City Council can adopt it as it is drafted or modify it and adapt it to its circumstances.

Bicycles may be towed, approved, for the transport of animals or goods, circulating during the day and without visibility, and at moderate speed, when the driver is of legal age and under his responsibility.

Bicycles may carry, when the driver is of legal age and under his responsibility, children under seven years of age in additional seats or trailers, coupled to the bicycles, duly certified and approved, with the weight limitations that these devices stipulate. The minors will have to wear an approved helmet.

Is it safe to transport people on bicycle trailers?

Again the safety comes from the driver’s point of the bike, which must respect the traffic regulations, and from all other road users, who must also meet the rules and respect the rider.

It is advisable to install a flag of striking color and of sufficient height so that the drivers are aware of its existence since another vehicle can exert a screen and not appreciate that the bike has attached a trailer .

With regard to night driving in city with sufficiently illuminated roads, equipping the trailer with reflective devices and lights, there would have to be no problem.