The Italian Almanac

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Italian News - November 25

The days of the speed merchants are numbered. The Autostrade per l’Italia management company is ready to deliver to the country’s highway police one of the most formidable tools of prevention that they have ever had. And it can also issue fines.It’s not a speed camera, in the sense that it is not a traditional system for recording vehicle speed.It will be used to monitor speeds over long distances instead of short. Since it is not a detector, this means drivers wanting to avoid unpleasant surprises will have to toe the line.

Called SICVE, from the Italian acronym for “speed control information system”, it does not require operating personnel and will be installed on most of the country’s motorway network. Cars that exceed the speed limit for short distances to overtake will not be picked up. Only vehicles that stand out from the normal traffic flow by travelling at sustained high speeds will be detected. Anyone who drives at 200 kilometres an hour is a public danger, as well as a future customer of the new control system.

When a vehicle covers fifteen or twenty kilometres (less in some cases), at extremely high speeds, it will first be detected as it passes over a pair of conductor coils buried under the road surface, and then picked up again further on. If the journey time is lower than expected, it will be photographed by the cameras in portals on the information boards over the motorway, or on flyovers.

The aim is road safety.The first portals will go into operation in a few days and the first fines are expected to be in the post by Christmas. The first portals will be installed on the A13 Bologna-Padua (at Occhiobello), on the A14 Bologna-Taranto (in the Forlì area) and two on the A4 Turin-Venice (in the Milan area).According to Autostrade per l’Italia, at least 200 could go into operation in the next three years.