Title: Rules of the Road in Italy
Category: Transportation in Italy
Author: Daniele Pintaudi Updated: Jan 30, 2019 Views: 7,334
Tags: rules of the road in italy roads in italy road rules italy drive in italy

Rules of the Road in Italy

Italy's posted signs can be VERY confusing. This will help you at least know how fast you can go and some other general rules to follow.

Speed Limits

You will quickly find that many people don't respect speed limits in Italy. However, Italian police are notorious for using cameras in speed traps. The difference between you and the Italian that races by you at the speed of light is that he knows where the speed traps are and you don't. So if you are going to speed, be sure to shadow other cars that look like they know what they are doing, and as you see them slow down, heed the warning.

Update: The Italian Autostrada system has been converting many of the cameras to something they call the "Tutor System". This system will measure your time and speed at various points along your route. If your average speed between two points is higher than the speed limit, you will be ticketed.

These tickets are automated and mailed to you. There is no requirement that you be stopped, so you won't know when you get one. If you are renting a car, the rental agency will automatically bill your credit card when they get a ticket for the car you were renting.

General Speed Limits
Road Kph Mph
City 50 31
Rural 90 56
Highway 90-110 56-67
Autostrada 130 81


Other Important Laws

A ZTL is a "Traffic Limited Zone" in which you are not allowed to drive without a special permit and at certain times. These are usually found in congested city centers and historic districts. They are VERY common, especially in Rome. WATCH FOR THEM (A photo of the sign is attached to this article). They often have a camera that automatically snaps a shot of your license plate when you pass if the sensor recognizes that you don't have the permit. You will have a tough time understanding the time limits and conditions, so it is best to simply avoid them.

Seatbelts are required by law for all passengers in a car or truck and must be worn at all times.

Headlights must be turned on from dusk to dawn, on the Autostrada at all times, in tunnels at all times, and in poor visibility. Motorcycles must use headlights at all times.

Driving Age
The legal driving age is 18. Even if a 16 or 17-year-old has a license from their home country, they may not drive in Italy.

International Driver Permit 
Whenever driving, you must always carry a valid International driver permit and your original driver license from your home. In the U.S., you can get one from AAA.

Right turns on Red
It is illegal to make a right turn at a red light in Italy

Children under 4 must be in a car seat. Children under 12 may not ride in the front seat.

Motorcycles, Mopeds, and Vespas
At age 14, you may ride if the engine is 0 - 50cc. At 16 if the engine is 51 - 125cc, at 18 if the engine is 126 to 350cc, and at 21 you may ride any motorcycle. In all cases, you must hold a license that is valid for motorcycles, as well as an international driving permit that is stamped for motorcycle riding. Helmets are required at all times with motorcycles, and only if you are 18 or under with vehicles of less than 50cc.

Disabled Vehicles
If your vehicle is disabled, and you must pull to the side of the road, you are required to wear a visibility vest and place a warning triangle outside to warn oncoming traffic.

Drinking and Driving
The limit is 0.05 percent, and the punishment may include imprisonment.

Aside from license and permit, you must also have the following available: Vehicle registration, certificate of insurance. the rental contract, and radio permit. These should all be provided if you rent.


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