Italy

Published 2004.05.24 | Last update 2015.01.04

Italy, like Spain, has both an easy and a very flexible system, especially when it comes to the practical police work

The official speed limit on Italian motorways is 130 km/h, but you will soon realize that most people ignore this limit and drive as fast as the engine will let them.

The important numbers :
Limit – km/h 50 90(1 110(2 130(3
Fine +20km/h €143 €143 €143 €143
Fine +40km/h €143 €143 €143 €143
LICENSE (1 – 6 months) 90 130 150 170
1) Reduced to 80 km/h when rain  2) Reduced to 100 km/h when rain  3) Reduced to 110 km/h when rain

Speeding and other traffic offences are subject to on-the-spot fines.

Parts of the motorway system is now equipped with average speed cameras:
– Check Infotraffico on this (if they also take pictures from the back, you should really be aware of this)
Claudio Piombetti writes (22.4.2005):
– as in several other European countries, precedence is to the vehicle coming from the right, in case there are no signs or traffic lights.
Speed cameras are often located on the roads taking into towns, usually a few hundreds meters after the first sign stating the speed limit of 50 Km/h. Been caught twice doing 70 and 78 km/h. Also, they take pictures from the back. :o(
– “Carabinieri” are more likely to let you get away with a bollocking instead of a fine. “Polizia” and “Polizia Stradale” (road police) will be stricter. “Polizia municipale” (town police) will try everything to fine you, probably, since the amount of fines produced is part of their performance indicators.
– All police forces have up to five months (150 days) to deliver you the picture taken by a speed camera and the fine. If they fail to send it within this limit, you can refuse payment [old information, this may have changed in the last four years, since I moved to the UK]
Italian definition of a split second :
“the time frame between when the lights turn green and the driver behind you honks his horn at you.”
Italy in detail :
Violation(1 Fine (Euro) Points
less than 10 km/h €35
+ 11-40 km/h €143 2
LICENSE(2 + 41 km/h and more €357 10
1) 5 km/h tolerance under 100 km/h, 5% over 100 km/h
2) 1-6 months
Fines and reactions may change without any warnings.
About points:

In Italy you start with 20 points and receive a bonus of 2 points for every 2 years of correct behavior, with a maximum of 30 points.
Your license will be revoked when you are down to zero points. If 20 points are lost within a year the person is suspended from driving in Italy for a period of 2 years; if the person loses the entire 20 points within a timeframe of 2 years, then they are forbidden to drive in Italy for a period of 1 year; and if the total of 20 points is lost within 2 and 3 years, then the person is forbidden to drive in Italy for a period of six months.
Italian authorities record all infringements committed by foreign motorists. The punishment for foreign drivers having built up 20 penalty points in 1-year time is a 2-year ban from driving in Italy. In case they have built up 20 penalty points in 2-year time the punishment is a 1-year ban from driving in Italy. In case they have built up 20 penalty points in a period of 2 to 3 years the punishment is a 6-month ban from driving in Italy.
In addition to the speeding offences above, these offences will reward you with points (there are many more):

  • Driving on a red light – 6 points
  • No seat-belts – 5 points
  • Drive in the left lane, when the right lane is free – 4 points

5 Comments

  1. Balazs Kiss
    2017.03.27 @ 19:26

    Hi Gary,

    I had the same issue with the difference that I did not receive any message from the rental company. Neither a phone call or an email. I suspect that you dealed with Noleggiare SRL, huh? Me too. I just found 2 x 50 EUR being charged on my credit card. Months later I was even in Italy. One in January, one in March but I was there in last October.
    I called them for details Today but they could not tell me the reason. I was asking if it’s because of speeding but they told me that “probably”. Which is not correct at all and ridiculous. There’s no 50 EUR penalty for speeding in Italy anyway. If it’s based on valid reason I think it’s the very minimum to forward me the proof from the authority.
    However, I will submit a dispute form to my bank tomorrow. This is not a process what they do. This is fraud.

    Reply

  2. Nunzio Fattore
    2017.01.21 @ 09:10

    Hello,
    I am a canadian citizen with an ontario driving licence
    Last summer i was vacationing in italy, and just received a speeding fine in the mail
    The fine consist of 161 euros and 3 demerit points,
    how does it affect my driving record here in ontario?

    Reply

    • Potocki
      2017.02.03 @ 19:13

      Record in Ontario??!! Unless there is a special binlateral agreement between the Republic of Italy and your country, absolutely no influence. And I highly doubt that there is one. We in European Union have a system enabling fee collection from one country to the other, but it took us a few dozen years to get it. Still however if you have 100 penalty points in Germany you can drive freely (or better drive fast 😉 in Poland, Italy or the other way round. There is a lot of legal barriers for imposing sanctions in a different country starting from different systems. You may just have 3 points in Italy (although in some countries foreigners get no demerit pooints).

      Reply

  3. My Italian Road Trip: San Marino – CT Scans the World
    2017.01.17 @ 17:34

    […] strongly recommend driving through the countryside if you get a chance. I would read up on traffic laws beforehand though. Things are very different in Europe. I enjoyed driving on the 2 lane roads […]

    Reply

  4. Gary Byrne
    2016.11.11 @ 16:05

    Hello I received an email yesterday (10/11/16) from a car hir company that I hired a car from in August 16. It states that I have committed a traffic offence on the 1/08/16 and they have charged my credit card company 50 Euros for the administration costs to hand my information to the police. Does this sound correct? My concern is the time lapse between my alleged offence and the police informing the care hire company. Looking forward to hearing back. Thanks.

    Reply

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