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Driving in Italy

The Autostradas, excellent condition multilane super-highways, cover some 5,600 kilometres / 3500 miles throughout Italy allowing commercial and individual vehicles to travel safely at very high speeds. Most of the highways are toll roads with very good roadside assistance. You can pay the toll using cash or credit card as you leave the autostrada. If you want to save time you can purchase a pre-paid Telepass or Viacard card from banks, post offices and tobacconists. For more information on the Autostrade check out their website. The maximum permitted speed on the autostrade is 130 km/h and 100 km/h on non-urban highways.

Although generally rated as good, conditions vary on secondary roads — the roadside assistance is less complete and the quality of the road surface is variable. Urban driving is conditional on the age of the urban area — the streets in the centres of historical towns are often narrow and winding and can be jammed. The speed limit in built up areas is 50km/h. Speed limits are strictly enforced and radar traps are frequent with speeding and other offences fined very heavily on-the- spot.

Statistics show that deaths from car accidents are among the highest in Europe. Most accidents are caused through excessive speed, even throughout the winter period of fog and poor visibility.

The blood-alcohol limit in Italy is 0.05%. Random breath testing is conducted frequently in Italy. Penalties can be severe if you are involved in an accident and you are over the legal drink driving limit.

Wearing seat belts is compulsory. If you are caught not wearing a seat belt you will receive a on-the-spot fine.

Visitors driving in Italy must have a driving licence valid in their own country and drive a vehicle that is up to date with road tax, vehicle inspection and insurance cover. Drivers from certain countries must also have an international driving licence. Full details are available at ENIT, the Italian Government Tourist Board.

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