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Top Tips for Beating Traffic Jams

a man standing in a street with cars parked in front of him stuck in a Traffic Jam

Discover The Phone Number That Alerts You to Traffic Jams on Your Route

Traffic jams and congestion are common phenomena (often more common than we’d like) on roads worldwide and represent one of the biggest headaches for motorists. These congestions can stem from a variety of factors, such as accidents, roadworks, adverse weather conditions, or simply an excessive volume of vehicles on the road, leading to situations that are not only frustrating for drivers but can also have negative consequences in terms of time loss, increased stress, and higher fuel consumption.

To avoid traffic jams and congestion, drivers can take some proactive measures. One of the most effective strategies is to plan the route in advance and avoid peak traffic hours whenever possible. Utilising real-time navigation apps can help drivers identify alternative routes and steer clear of congested areas.

It’s also crucial to maintain calm and patience while stuck in traffic, as stress and impatience can only exacerbate the situation. Ultimately, by following these practices and maintaining a mindful and responsible attitude on the road, drivers can contribute to reducing the incidence of traffic jams and congestion, making the journey safer and less stressful for everyone.

Furthermore, staying informed about traffic conditions via radio or online traffic apps can help drivers make informed decisions about when and how to travel. In regard to this last point, drivers have access to a range of resources that are often much more useful than they appear, although most users are unaware of their existence.

The Department for Transport provides citizens with various information services to check the traffic status at any point on the country’s road network. Among these services, we can find some relatively common and popular ones such as the Dgt’s web portal (Dgt Traffic Info), the official X @TrafficInfo account, or tuning in to traffic bulletins on the radio.

There’s another resource that few drivers know about and yet can be very useful. It’s the 011 phone service, an information channel available to any citizen seeking information on their destination or a specific route. This phone number isn’t toll-free, but its cost is the same as that of a national phone call, so most users, using their phone plans, won’t have to pay extra to access this information.

Did you know there is a mobile app for the Spanish traffic department?

The miDGT application celebrates its fourth anniversary with new challenges ahead: reaching drivers from the day they take their driving test, equipping it with new features, and transforming it into one of the necessary collaborators for the future European digital identity wallet.

It was unveiled on March 16, 2020, amidst the pandemic. Now, four years later, the free app from the Directorate General of Traffic, miDGT, can be described as a digital veteran and, why not, a success. “We were the first national organization to develop an app of this kind for citizens. Being able to carry the circulation permit and the driving license on your mobile has been a significant advancement. Especially, because since the last amendment to the Traffic Law, these digital versions have legal validity,” summarizes Guillermo Areán, Manager of Informatics at the Directorate General of Traffic.

Currently, the miDGT application already has 6 million users. But the immediate goal is to keep growing. To achieve this, a project has been launched in several Traffic Headquarters allowing aspiring drivers to register in the Cl@ve system and check their driving test results from their mobile, a feature that may be particularly appealing to younger individuals. “We have to do significant work in educating and training about the usefulness of the application from the moment the future driver is in driving school. The driving test can become the entry point for new drivers into our ecosystem. If we manage to get students registered in Cl@ve, we will see how the app users increase in the near future. Although six million in four years is not a bad figure,” says Guillermo Areán.
Procedures at a Click

The objective of miDGT was always twofold. On one hand, to have the driving permit and circulation documents on the mobile, as already mentioned; on the other hand, to allow the driver to access the Administration as easily as possible and even perform procedures from their mobile phone. “In a few years, when there is a central ‘wallet’ for the Administration, the first of these functions will lose some meaning because, in the end, it will be in that other general app where all the permits and documentation of the citizen will be displayed. At that moment, miDGT will probably remain for second type matters, such as checking license points or paying fines,” they assure from the Informatics Management.

During the initial phase of the miDGT application implementation, this app already provided the driver access to basic (and very useful) information stored in the DGT files about them; data such as their updated points balance or reports of the vehicles registered in their name. Just one year after its creation, in 2021, it was already possible to carry out procedures from the DGT’s electronic headquarters service catalog through it. The most striking of these (and one of the most used) was the addition of the possibility of paying fees or fines from the app. “Checking how many points the driver has left and using digital permits have been, by far, the most used functionalities. We’re talking about 180 million of these checks. Additionally, in the last four years, 300,000 fines have been paid through the app,” explains Areán.
The Future of miDGT

To offer the most complete service possible, more and more functions from the DGT’s digital service catalog have gradually been implemented in the application. Nowadays, there are already 14 procedures available from the mobile phone (which can be checked on the last page of this magazine), but more will come. “In the application, we only include procedures that can be resolved with one click. We hope that soon there will be several new procedures that we can include, such as permit renewal or, at some point, permit exchange. We have several projects underway, in a very preliminary phase, for the digitization of the DGT’s photo card. Once this has been digitized, it will be possible to study the feasibility of requesting permit renewals and exchanges from the application with a certificate, but we still have to wait to have this function available,” says the Manager of Informatics at the DGT. What is already available is one of the most useful functionalities for the driver: signing up for miDGT alerts, notifications that inform about all kinds of incidents, from the expiration date of their permits to the ITV date. And most importantly: it also informs about pending fines even before the notification of them arrives at their address. If the citizen is not registered in the Electronic Road Directorate, a voluntary procedure for individuals that authorizes the DGT to electronically notify fines, the fine will appear in the app, but the notification of it will reach the postal address on file with Traffic. However, it can be paid through the mobile.

How to Access the miDGT App

The application is accessed by digital certificate or Cl@ve code. In addition, for individuals who do not have any of the previous digital accreditations, the DGT allows access through personal data.

The Citizen's electronic Certificate is issued through the electronic headquarters of the Royal Mint. It can be obtained in four different ways (video, mobile, DNIe, and in-person), and any Spanish or foreign citizen, of legal age or emancipated minor in possession of their ID or NIE can request it.
Cl@ve is a platform for verifying electronic identities for the identification and authentication of citizens in their procedures with Public Administrations. There are four registration modalities in Cl@ve corresponding to two different levels of registration. The basic one can be done by video call or, if you do not have a digital certificate, you can request an invitation letter through the internet and, once you have the letter, register in the Cl@ve registry from the website sede.agenciatributaria.gob.es. For advanced registration, it is necessary to have a digital certificate, DNIe, or go in person to a registration office.
To access miDGT through the 'My personal data' option (available for drivers who do not have any of the previous ones), it is necessary to have previously and in person authorized the update and management of personal data at the corresponding Traffic Headquarters. Once this requirement is met, every time we want to use the app, in addition to completing the contrast data requested (about the driving permit or ID), we will have to include a verification code that will arrive at our mobile number as an SMS or as a message to the email account provided to the DGT.

In 2023, the Ministers of Transport of the European Union approved the introduction of a digital driving permit, accessible through the mobile phone or another device, which will be part of the European digital identity wallet and will make it easier to replace, renew, or exchange a driving permit throughout the EU, as procedures can be done online. In Spain, thanks to miDGT, much of this work has already been done. “We have not only been pioneers nationally but also in Europe.

Although there are countries that also have a Mobile Driver License, currently, with this permit, you cannot go to another country. The goal is to solve this,” explains Guillermo Areán. The next step is for the involved European countries to create national ‘wallets’ where their citizens have all their documentation available digitally.

Read more: Avoiding Traffic Fines


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