Speeding? Meeting the Autovelox

Speed camera violation notice in Italy
Violation Notice
Click image to enlarge

Today, the mailman brought a registered letter from Italy. Against my better judgement — we’ve been burned in the past when Anne was served in a lawsuit this way — I signed for it. I figured it had something to do with the house.

Wrong. It was a notice of a traffic violation. A quite tardy notice, since the date of the violation was last July 5, over 7 months ago.

A side of the road speed monitoring camera had caught me going 118 km/h in a 110 zone and they wanted 58€. Very steep for 8 k/hr (5 mph) over the limit.

Here’s the section outlining the violation:

Text of speed violation notice in Italian

The comune that had issued it is all the way over on the west coast north of Rome, I figured I wouldn’t need to pay it, but I thought I’d check with Giovanna. Sadly, she told me I should pay.

Given the amount of speeding I’ve seen in Italy, this all seems terribly unfair. La dolce vita, I guess.

An Update

My online Italian teacher Silvia sent me a link to an article that explained the speeding fines in more detail. After reading it, I realized I was lucky to be going only 118. If I’d been measured at 121, the fine would have been at least four times higher.

These side-of-the-road speed cameras, called autovelox, are everywhere. Usually, they warn you in advance that you are in an area with them, but not always. Apparently, not all the cameras are active; some are just dummies, but unless you live in the area you don’t know which are which.

The fine depends on two factors: your speed relative to the limit and the time of day. (Fines are higher between 10pm and 7am.)

The fines can get really high, even for a small violation. Here’s a chart I built from the facts in the article. Ranges are given. I assume that the specific fine depends on the locale:

Speed relative to the limitFine 7am-10pmFine 10pm-7am
kph: Up to 10 over
mph: Up to 6 over
€41 – €168€55 – €224
kph: 10 – 40 over
mph: 6 – 25 over
€168 – €674€224 – €899
kph: 40 – 60 over
mph: 25 – 37 over
€527 – €2,108€703 – €2,811
kph: More than 60 over
mph: More than 37 over
€821 – €3,287€1,095 – €4,383

Image: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure

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