Traffic violations in Europe

LeVeL

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According to my car rental company, I'm up to four tickets from my trip to Italy back in June:
  1. access to a restricted area with no authorization
  2. circulating on a public transport reserved lane
  3. speed limit exceeded
  4. unknown
So far they have provided absolutely no evidence to support any of the above and I have not been contacted by the authorities. The rental company is very timely in charging me a service fee for every violation though. I'm very much considering filing a dispute with my credit card company unless I get some proof that these violations actually occurred but I have several questions for the FG brain trust first:
  1. I was never stopped by the police. I know there are speed cameras but how did the other alleged violations occur? I genuinely have no idea what the first two are referring to. Does Europe just have cameras absolutely everywhere watching for all kinds of vehicle infractions?
  2. What sort of reputation does LocAuto have in Europe?
  3. Is there a legal obligation in Italy for the rental company to provide any evidence or documentation with regards to these alleged violations?
  4. Do EU countries share ticket information? That is, can I get in trouble in another country for not paying tickets in Italy? This is just for my curiosity - I'm happy to pay the fines when the Italian authorities actually contact me.
As an aside, this is all rather ironic, considering Italians drive like absolute maniacs with no regard for traffic rules :lol:
 

bone

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1. yes, everywhere! most likely you entered a zone prohibited for verhicles between 12am and 6pm or sth (like a city center - where you are allowed in to supply goods to bars/shops/restaurant before noon, but no vehicle are allowed after noon)
2. no idea, haven't heard of them before
3. i think there is. if they demand money from you for a violation you made, they should be able to show proof or it's fraude
4. not on a european scale, but many countries have made deals to share that info. but you will NOT get into trouble in other EU countries for not paying a fine in Italy (they won't know this). but if i perform a violation, belgium is more than happy to share my address info so the tifozi know where to send the fine.
 
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avanti

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I have never heard of locauto either, but you would never get the tickets if you hadn't actually broken the law, so they are definitely real. Regardless, always rent from the big ones, like Hertz or Europecar.

A rental car is just like any other car, so the ticket was sent to the registered owner, in this case the rental company. They should be able to send you a copy of the original ticket where it says what you did and where you did it.

I have gotten my fair share of tickets, also for the first two above. Very easy for a foreigner to get those when there are restricted streets and streets just for public transport everywhere. Obviously there are signs, but if you don't speak Italian they might be difficult to understand...
 

LeVeL

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Thanks all! Even with the tickets this was an amazing trip.


bone;n3552076 said:
1. yes, everywhere! most likely you entered a zone prohibited for verhicles between 12am and 6pm or sth (like a city center - where you are allowed in to supply goods to bars/shops/restaurant before noon, but no vehicle are allowed after noon)
The only time I can think of where this might've happened was in Florence. The hotel had us park right out back in the courtyard.


bone;n3552076 said:
4. not on a european scale, but many countries have made deals to share that info. but you will NOT get into trouble in other EU countries for not paying a fine in Italy (they won't know this). but if i perform a violation, belgium is more than happy to share my address info so the tifozi know where to send the fine.
According to the emails I've received, the Italian authorities have 360 days to send me the actual ticket. A year!!!!


avanti;n3552077 said:
I have never heard of locauto either, but you would never get the tickets if you hadn't actually broken the law, so they are definitely real.
Maybe it's the Russian in me but I wouldn't put it past a small rental company to pull a fast one on a tourist - not like I'm going to go back to Italy to fight this.


avanti;n3552077 said:
A rental car is just like any other car, so the ticket was sent to the registered owner, in this case the rental company. They should be able to send you a copy of the original ticket where it says what you did and where you did it.
They've provided minimal information to me and charged an administrative fee for processing. The tickets will be sent to me by the police, supposedly.


avanti;n3552077 said:
I have gotten my fair share of tickets, also for the first two above. Very easy for a foreigner to get those when there are restricted streets and streets just for public transport everywhere. Obviously there are signs, but if you don't speak Italian they might be difficult to understand...
Very much this. I wouldn't be surprised if I did commit these violations without realizing it - I just want a little evidence before forking over €200+ in just admin fees.


jack_christie;n3552078 said:
2. Bus lane?
I don't think I drove in a bus lane but maybe.
 

avanti

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In all these cases with public transport lanes or places where traffic is restricted during certain times of the day, there is a camera. A picture of you, or a link to where to download the picture is always included with the fine.

I have pictures of both my Lancia Delta (in a bus lane in Florence) and one of my motorcycles (speeding in Milan) :D

Cancel your credit card or ask them to not accept the charges until the rental company sends you a copy of the fine.

Fines can arrive a very long time after the infraction, if you had gotten them personally there are ways to fight it but since the rental company is involved its not as easy.
 

avanti

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narf;n3552115 said:
Never heard of the company, googled them - not that good, it seems: https://de.trustpilot.com/review/locauto.it
Wow!!! Awefull!

Didn't understand if you had already paid the fine or if they had charges your credit card? If not just cancel the card and move on.
If they have charged you contact the card company and report it as fraud.
 

LeVeL

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Well, I did sign the contract that stated that if I got tickets they'd charge me an admin fee to provide the authorities with my information. My concern is that I have yet to receive ANY evidence of my wrong doing, aside from their word. Because of that I'm going to contact my credit card company, I think, until I do see some proof of these violations.
 

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I'd have expected that they get the fine, pay it, and bill your credit card the fine plus admin fee. Forwarding your info to the rozzers should only be necessary for more serious offenses, e.g. to put points on your record.
 

Redliner

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"Attention!! We waited 2.5 hours at the counter. Then you wanted to offer us for 5 people only a small car - booked and paid was a MB B-class. Takeover: the numerous damages were marked on a tray - barely time. The promised expression was then denied. When taking back, they then took a lot of time and finally made a gray line on the upper part of the rear bumper fascia claim as damage. Allegedly paint leftovers. But it was like dry toothpaste. At this point we could not have been hit. After effortless removal: rough surface noticeable - not visible.In Catania we were told the trick: colorless shoe polish on which the dirt collects. Aggressive attempts to force us to sign and pay for the damage. We did not do that. The credit card was still charged. Very dubious Alamo partner."

Wow. That's awful.
 

dionbrown

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Wow! Sounds fishy to me! Thanks for sharing. I know what car rental company to steer clear from when visiting Italy! Hope it all works out. Definitely demand proof of those violations!

-DB
 

avanti

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Stick to:
Hertz
Europcar
Maggiore

I have used all, 100 percent serious. Forget all the others, even if they are cheaper.
 

Redliner

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avanti;n3552155 said:
Stick to:
Hertz
Europcar
Maggiore

I have used all, 100 percent serious. Forget all the others, even if they are cheaper.
But the problem is, if I read those complaints correctly, is that sometimes those smallers rentals companies work WITH those bigs ones, so you epect Hertz and get one of those scumbags? :dunno:
 

SirEdward

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Basically, what Avanti said, with some information added

LeVeL;n3552072 said:
[*]access to a restricted area with no authorization
This is typical from italian city centres. Most of the inner areas, which unfortunately also are the ones where tourists want to got he most, are restricted to everyone. These area are ususally marked by big panels with the "no entry" sign and an endless list of indications. The panels are present at each entry, but most of them simply get lost in the amount of things you have to look to.

Most of the entrance points have cameras. You can ask for the picture, although in most cases it will arrive to you after the time limit before which you can pay a discounted amount.

[*]circulating on a public transport reserved lane
This is easier: big yellow lines marking the lane (usually near the centre lines). You drove on one of these. Most of those also have cameras, and so you should be able to see the picture in the same way as before

[*]speed limit exceeded
If they haven't stopped you right away, they -need- to provide you with a valid picture form the machine who issued the violation, or explain why you couldn't be stopped.

In general, speed limits in the very central areas are often 30 kph, and speed limits in Italy are often low, so it is easy to break them.

[/quote]
[*]unknown[/quote]
What have they written on the letter they sent you?

[*]Is there a legal obligation in Italy for the rental company to provide any evidence or documentation with regards to these alleged violations?
If the police asks, they must provide the driver's information, otherwise they have to pay the fine.

[*]Do EU countries share ticket information? That is, can I get in trouble in another country for not paying tickets in Italy?
It depends. usually, you shouldn't get any problem, unless you do something stupid elsewhere.

This is just for my curiosity - I'm happy to pay the fines when the Italian authorities actually contact me.
Ask the rental company to provide you all the necessary mean to verify the violation. From what I've read you have been a victim of cameras and cameras and extremely constrictive road management. It is quite normal (and annoying) in the city centres of most italian cities, particularly the bigger ones.
[/LIST]As an aside, this is all
rather ironic, considering Italians drive like absolute maniacs with no regard for traffic rules :lol:
This is why the municipalities fill up the roads with cameras, prohibitions, limitations, regulations, etc. to try and keep maniacs at bay. Needless to say, they manage very much less in this than they manage to annoy normal, law-abiding citizens. But for some reasons the idea of working on the culture and education and information is seen as a loss of money and time.

With cameras, on the other hand, you can rake up money even from foreign people, to feed the budget of cities that the central government has been cutting for years.
 
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LeVeL

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Thanks, that's good info! I've been had like the silly tourist that I was :lol:
 

SirEdward

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I'd say it's easier to get a fine than not. My suggestion is to never use a car in an italian city centre, unless you are prepared to drive around a lot, get a ticket of some sort or never reaching the place you need to go. Or any combination of them. The way to navigate a place like the centre of Florence by car is to prepare in advance, study the maps and draw a battle plan. Not something many tourists would like to do. Nor many italians, for what matters.
 

LeVeL

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Can we hold the hotel in Florence liable for telling us to park there?
 

bone

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you can try, but we're not the USA, we do expect people to have some basic intelligence :lol:
 
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