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I got 3 traffic tickets in 1 day in Bologna and didn't even know it!

I got 3 traffic tickets in 1 day in Bologna and didn't even know it!

Old Apr 10th, 2009, 03:04 PM
  #1  
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I got 3 traffic tickets in 1 day in Bologna and didn't even know it!

Last November I rented a car in Italy and last week a $150 charge showed up on my credit card so I called Auto Europe. They said it most likely was a traffic violation and in todays mail came the verification.
Three violations. First one at 12:26, second at 12:45 and third at 12:47 at 30 euros a pop! There was 18 euros VAT (talk about insult to injury)
It must have been when I was lost. I have no idea what I did wrong.
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Old Apr 10th, 2009, 03:06 PM
  #2  
J62
 
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I'll bet you $1 you were driving in a limited traffic zone (ZTL)
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Old Apr 10th, 2009, 03:14 PM
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Sorry to hear this, but on the lighter side

I can just imagine one of those Germans that blow by us in their rockets getting home from holiday and getting a traffic violation bill 30 pages long.
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Old Apr 10th, 2009, 03:17 PM
  #4  
J62
 
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Actually, Germans know how to read European traffic signs. Many Americans do not.
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Old Apr 10th, 2009, 03:32 PM
  #5  
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Anything is possible. When I am lost, I will go anywhere.
BTW... what is a limited traffic zone?
I figure for all the speeding I did on the autostrada in the last decade, I got away cheap.
Now all I have to do is figure out where Big Brother does not have cameras.
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Old Apr 10th, 2009, 03:40 PM
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Scroll down until you see the red circle.
http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/road_s..._signs_cr7.htm
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Old Apr 10th, 2009, 03:51 PM
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Well could be... those signs were freakin everywhere
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Old Apr 10th, 2009, 03:55 PM
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Yes, and right beside it was the little traffic camera that took the picture of your license plate for the police.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 09:14 AM
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Your story is only at the beginning. The actual tickets and fines will come next, about 100 Euro each. I think the local Italian governments are making a big mistake following people home and demanding money from them. You accidentally broke a traffic rule. You were lost, probably trying to avoid an Italian driver coming at you out of nowhere, probably found yourself suddenly facing a sign for a restricted zone but with no way to avoid it at that point. For this you should pay $600 (your fees from the rental company plus the amount of the fines)? If the police had stopped you, you could have explained, and they might have let you off with a warning, but this new system doesn't give you a chance. I'd love to know how the Italians respond when they get these tickets, whether they pay them or scoff at them.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 10:09 AM
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Hello ahotpoet. It is a shame that the various auto rental agencies do not hand out a sheet with the meanings of the various traffic signs such as what kybourbon posted from the slowtrav website to everyone renting a vehicle in Italy.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 10:11 AM
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Just be glad you weren't doing this in NYC. Here the parking tickets are $150 each - never mind moving violations.

One of the rules of driving in a foreign country is learning the basic rules - and in most of europe that means many towns/cities have pedestraian only zones in the center.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 10:26 AM
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My problem in Italy was that u could suddenly come upon a limited traffic zone and there literally was no way out -- go into the limited zone and incur the fine, go down a one way street or back up the one way street u are on. The Italian owner of our B&B in Mantova said Italians back down one way streets all the time...just hope that there are no police that see u doing that!
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Old May 27th, 2009, 10:29 AM
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Just curious: Were you using a GPS?
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Old May 27th, 2009, 10:30 AM
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Does the NYPD follow you home to Europe and demand money from you? Can't the Italian police give you the benefit of the doubt? They know from the information they got from the rental company that you're a foreign tourist. You were trying to cope with Italian traffic, trying to read the street names on the sides of the buildings, and you made a mistake (apparently, three similar mistakes in just over twenty minutes). For this you should pay $600? JUSTICE MUST BE SERVED!
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Old May 27th, 2009, 10:31 AM
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In the EU, more and more countries are sharing their road violation enforcement. It used to be possible to just ignore any tickets that you got in other countries. Not anymore.

I can easily imagine the U.S., Canada and Australia joining the club.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 02:17 PM
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Hijacking...Sorry! But I have to know this.

After looking at the above link to SlowTrav I looked under Switzerland on SlowTrav and found this:

The Autobahn in Switzerland is like our American interstate system. There are no tolls, but every car driving on the Swiss Autobahn must have a yearly permit on the windshield. This is a green sticker with an image of a highway and the two-digit year.

If you do not have one, you may be pulled over by the police and fined 100 CHF plus the 40 CHF to purchase the sticker.

Now my questions: My Autoeurope map program lists the roads beginning with an 'A' as "toll" roads. But the above says there are no toll fees. Is the sticker all I need to drive on the "A" roads on my map in Switzerland? Where do I get my yearly permit? At the border from France to Switzerland?

Thank you,
Michele
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Old May 27th, 2009, 03:07 PM
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Michele :
Yes, the sticker is all you need. You buy it at the border
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Old May 27th, 2009, 03:30 PM
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I feel your pain ahotpoet. We drove in the historic district in Rome and were told later by Hertz that there are cameras everywhere. And yes, we received our tickets and fines about 4 months later. No way to protest to the authorities- A sure moneymaker for them.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 03:44 PM
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"and were told later by Hertz that there are cameras everywhere"..I rest my case plufmud, why didn't Hertz tell you or give you a fact sheet when you rented your car? Imagine the authorities don't want them to do that as it would cut into their city's income.

I know it is the responsibility of the driver to know all the rules and regulations but how I remember when Italy was "tourist friendly" and was so happy to have visitors that they went out of their way to "help" them rather then "fine" them.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 04:06 PM
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Yes, they even had gas coupons for tourists that enabled you to buy cut-price fuel! Those were the days....

Well, you can be cynical and call it a money-making venture off ignorant or confused tourists, but the law is there for everyone - except that locals know the rules and how to avoid being fined. Many Italian municipalities use a private enforcement company called EMO ("European Municipal Outsourcing") to collect the fines of foreign drivers. Read the informative http://www.bella-toscana.com/traffic...ions_italy.htm about traffic fines in Italy.
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