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Italy to allow smaller scooters on motorways

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Italy to allow smaller scooters on motorways
120cc scooters will become legal on Italian motorways. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP
11:40 CEST+02:00
Smaller mopeds and scooters will be allowed to drive on Italian motorways as part of new changes to Italy's highway code.

In reforms expected to be approved on Tuesday, the minimum power limit for motorways and intercity highways will be lowered from 150cc to 120cc. Electric scooters over 11kW (roughly equivalent to 125cc) will also be allowed. 

There's an important condition, however: drivers must be over 18. While in Italy you can start driving a scooter up to 125 cc at the age of 16, the new rules specify that drivers must hold either a full driving licence (only available from 18 onwards) or have had their scooter licence for at least two years.

FOR MEMBERS: 

Scooters of 120cc typically have a maximum speed of around 80 km/h, while 150cc versions can reach up to 97 km/h.

The draft text, which the Italian parliament's transport committee provisionally approved on Monday, also sets out plans to create designated 'school roads', allowing local authorities to reduce speed limits or restrict entry to streets around school buildings at busy drop-off or pick-up times.

Other planned reforms include setting a speed limit for new types of transport such as hoverboards, electric kick scooters, one-wheel scooters and Segways at a maximum 6 km/h in urban areas, while people on rollerblades, skateboards or kick scooters will gain official permission to use cycle lanes, pavements and pedestrianized zones.

READ ALSO: Italy to fine phone-using drivers up to €1,700 in safety crackdown


Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

There will also be tougher penalties for those caught using phones, laptops or other devices at the wheel, more roadside checks for drug and alcohol use, and heavier punishment for intoxicated drivers.

Italy hands out 78.5 million tickets for bad driving per year on average, according to La Repubblica, making Italian drivers some of the most fined in Europe. Among the most frequent misbehaviours are distraction, failure to observe road rules and high speed.

The country has one of the highest numbers of annual road traffic deaths in western Europe, at 55 deaths per million inhabitants in 2017, though the number is slowly declining.

Useful vocabulary

il codice della strada – highway code 
l'autostrada – motorway
il limite di velocità – speed limit
la multa – fine
la patente di guida – driving licence (for more information about driving licences in Italy, see here)

READ ALSO: Tiny Italian town issues 58,000 speeding fines in ten days

 
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