a tool to reduce congestion and improve roadside assistance

Roads are not designed in a fixed way: those with a physical separation between the two senses of the march we find steps that are called bypass, transfers O median steps, known colloquially as “anti-jam doors”.

In essence, they serve to enable an additional lane in the opposite direction, normally to improve the flow of traffic in the face of congestion, but they are also used, for example, when a section is rendered useless either by accident, works or due to weather requirements.

What are median steps

As defined by the DGT itself, “anti-jam doors” are a interruption in the physical separation between the two directions of circulation of a road with separate carriageways, which facilitates communication between the two in singular and emergency cases.

For this reason, motorways, dual carriageways or multi-lane highways with physical separation between the two directions are designed with these steps, which usually go placed at two kilometer intervals.

Also in tunnels of more than 500 m in length, they must be arranged 200 m of the extremes (inlet and outlet).

And for them to be effective, the regulations require that the different barrier systems in the median passage can be mobile or removable, in order to open up when the situation demands it.

When are these “anti-jam doors” used?

This is how the 'anti-jam doors' used by the DGT are

There are several times when Traffic chooses to open these steps so that traffic flows through an additional lane in the opposite direction:

Traffic jams: in specific situations of high congestion (weekends, long weekends, holidays, departure or return operations). They are usually enabled at the entrances to large cities, which are usually the ones that present the most problems in these cases.

Accident: in the event of an accident that renders the section unusable, allowing the rest of the vehicles and cars to be released. In addition, they also facilitate access to cranes and emergency vehicles (firefighters, ambulances) to assist the injured or victims.

Plays: if a section must be cut due to maintenance works (paving, cleaning, placing or repairing barriers, etc.).

Adverse weather conditions: for example in snowfalls, they facilitate the route of maintenance vehicles and snow plows.

This is how the 'anti-jam doors' used by the DGT are

In each of these cases, the opening of medians is carried out in a coordinated manner between the Traffic agents and the Traffic Management Centers.

Removing the removable barrier It is carried out by road maintenance workers, supported by agents to ensure their safety, and then proceeds to enable a lane in the opposite direction, marked by cones.

“The steps in mediums are very useful tools, they facilitate any operation. Without them it would be more complicated. Only in our subsector we open about 60 bypass each year approximately”, explains Rubén González, Lieutenant of the Traffic Group of the Civil Guard and responsible for the northern subsector of the Community of Madrid.

Oncoming lanes, what you need to know

This is how the 'anti-jam doors' used by the DGT are

Like the reversible ones, the additional ones, or the Bus-HOV, the oncoming lanes are lanes enabled for improve traffic flow. In their case, they occupy another lane in the opposite direction, adding one more lane to the direction of traffic that is stuck or affected by a specific incident.

How are they signposted?

They are delimited by beacons (cones) and are announced to drivers on the variable signage, where the starting and ending kilometer of the additional lane is indicated, as well as the speed at which it must be circulated.

They can also be accompanied by temporary directional panels and the entrance and exit can be delimited by beacons.

How to travel in a lane in the opposite direction to the usual one

80 km / h top speed and a minimum of 60 km / h, although it may be lower if it is specifically established or signaled.

Beam: vehicles must always activate the low beam to use them, even during the day.

Only for passenger cars without a trailer and motorcycles, except that the reason why it is enabled is for works or the contrary is expressly indicated.

Overtaking is not allowed: Obviously, since this would mean crossing the line of cones, in addition to that the vehicles in the immediate lanes circulate in the opposite direction to that of this provisional lane.

Regarding the vehicles that circulate in the lane immediately adjacent to this additional one, They must also turn on the low beams and drive at the same speed (80 km / h – 60 km / h). If the road has more lanes for this direction, the rest can circulate at the maximum limit set on the road.

Fines of between 200 and 500 euros

If you do not travel following the requirements of a lane in the opposite direction, you may be incurring different infractions as established by the Traffic Regulations and the Traffic Law and is punishable by fines ranging between 100 euros and 600 euros.

Drive in the opposite direction to that indicated in the provisional or reversible lanes: the law establishes that “the cases of circulation in the opposite direction to that stipulated will be considered as very serious infractions”. The sanction is 500 euros and also supposes the subtraction of 6 points driving license.

Circular exceeding 80 km / h: if the speed established in this type of lane is exceeded, it is considered a serious or very serious infraction, depending on the speed and may or may not lead to the subtraction of points (from 2 to 6), in addition to the financial penalty, which varies between 100 euros and 600 euros.





81 – 110 km/h


100 euros

111 – 130 km/h


300 euros


131 – 140 km/h


400 euros


141 – 150 km/h


500 euros


151 km / h or more

Very serious

600 euros


Driving without turning on the dipped headlights: Failure to use regulatory lighting is considered a serious offense. The fine is 200 euros.

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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