Driving your Motorhome in Italy – Traffic Rules Italy
Driving in Italy – Tips, Traffic Rules, Road Signs
Motorhome Holidays in Italy: Self-Drive Motoring holidays in Italy. Tips on driving abroad in Italy. Motoring rules and regulations in Italy. Italian motoring laws. Autostrada and Tunnel Tolls
Driving in Italy . Italian drivers are fast, aggressive and skilful. Lane hopping and late braking are the norm and it’s not uncommon to see cars tailgating at 130km/h. Don’t expect people to slow down for you or let you out. Rather, seize the moment. As soon as you see a gap, go for it. Italians expect the unexpected and react swiftly but they’re not used to ditherers so whatever you do, do it decisively.
Driving in Italy. Italian road rules are similar enough to American ones that you’ll get by fine. There are, however, some important differences.
Speed Limits in Italy
For cars, motorhomes
◦towns and residential areas: 50 Km/h
◦trunk roads (outside towns): 90 Km/h
◦main highways: 110 Km/h
◦motorways and highways (autostrade): 130 Km/h (motorhomes under 3500kg)
NB: A driver who has held their licence for three years or less must not exceed 100 Km/h on motorways and 90 Km/h on urban roads (even if the limit is higher)
Traffic Rules & Regulations in Italy
◦ In Italy, drive on the right and overtake on the left
◦ Seatbelts are obligatory in the front and must be worn if fitted in the back
◦ Children under 150cm must travel in a child seat adapted to their size and weight and wear additional safety belts (these must comply with national and European safety standards). Children may not travel in a non-adapted front seat until they are 150cm tall
◦ Mobile cellular phones may not be used when driving unless using a hands-free system
◦ On-the-spot fines will be handed out for drivers who use bus or cycle lanes
◦ Always give way to trains, trams, buses and emergency vehicles
◦ In towns and developed areas, priority is given to traffic joining from the right, unless otherwise stated
◦ Flashing amber traffic lights means proceed with caution but give way to traffic on the right
◦ On a gradient, the vehicle travelling uphill has priority
◦ Headlights should be switched on and dipped at all times of day or night when driving on motorways and dual carriageways outside towns
◦ If the car is not registered in Italy it must have the EU-style number plates with the origin of the car or a sticker denoting the car’s home country next to the rear number plate.
Beware the ZTL—Many cities are now closed to non-resident cars
Many Italian cities—most notably Florence and Rome but also smaller cities like Siena, Siracusa, and Assisi—are either experimenting with or have already adopted the ZTL (“Zona Traffico Limitato” or Zone of Limited Traffic)—you may have heard of something similar called a “congestion charge” famously instituted by London (and famously shot down in New York). Milan now has one, too: €5 per day.
A ZTL usually entails closing off the historic center to all cars that do not have a pass (mostly residents and commercial trucks).
Driving in Italy. Tunnels in Italy
As much as 75 percent of Italy is mountainous; some autostradas have long tunnels and bridges.
Tunnels link Italy with France and Switzerland: Tunnel du Frejus and the Mont Blanc Tunnel link Italy and France in the Alps and the Tunnel Gran San Bernardino crosses the border to Switzerland.
Driving in Italy . Autostrada in Italy
Motorway (highway or freeway road network) signs are green with a white text. Roads are numbered from 1: the A1 is the Autostrada 1.
The motorway toll system (pedaggio) charges for each journey. Normally a ticket is dispensed at the start and paid for on leaving the motorway. There is a fixed charge per kilometre (the rate varies depending on the vehicle type). Road Signs in Italy The Viacard toll pass-card provides reduced toll rates and allows holders to pass quickly through designated priority lanes. The card is sold at banks, tobacconists, service stations and tollbooths. Much like a telephone card, the user buys usage by paying a fixed amount which allows for a certain distance to be covered, monitored and deducted each time the card is swiped at a toll gate. Italian motorway information
The Telepass is a subscriber toll pass service. A subscriber is given a sensor to attach to the vehicle. When the car passes through a tollgate, the amount due for the journey is logged and automatically debited from a specified account. Using a Telepass removes the need to stop at the toll; the car can slow down allowing for a reading to be taken and the barrier will open. Italian ferry information
Driving in Italy. Driving & Drinking (DUI and DWI)
There are strict penalties for those failing an alcohol test.
The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in Italy is: less than .05%, also defined as 0.5 grams per litre of blood (50 mg/100 ml of blood).
Italian police may carry out random alcohol tests on drivers at anytime. Testing is more common around Christmas, New Year and in the main holiday period of July and August.
Drivers involved in accidents or who are driving erratically are subject to automatic testing.
Many petrol service stations in Italy are manned, meaning a pump operator will fill the car while the driver stays in their seat. The driver will have to instruct the operator on the type of fuel and how much is required:
◦Unleaded fuel: benzina senza piombo (available in 95 and 98 octane)
◦Full/fill up: pieno
Leaded fuel has not been available in Italy since January 2002.
Most petrol stations will take payment by credit card but in rural areas, small garages will only accept cash. Most gas stations in smaller towns and villages close for lunch and all day Sundays. Motorway service centres remain open.
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