"Reversing on the Autostrada"

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"Reversing on the Autostrada"


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Old 7th August 2009, 08:48 AM
 
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Question "Reversing on the Autostrada"

In 2000 I had just entered a 2-lane section of the Autostrada near Ivrea (Torino) in a hire car. Suspecting I had gone the wrong direction (East rather than West), I wanted to check my map. I then came to a section with no central barriers, where the grass divider was replaced by tarmac, with white line boxes that looked like they were for vehicles to pull in to. I pulled in to this area, checked my map, and then drove out the other side so that I was going back the way I had come. This was equivalent to me to pulling in to a central section of a UK dual carriageway designated for turning. An Italian friend later told me that he thought this area was for emergency vehicle use only. I had no idea that I was breaching any traffic laws.

The police had been watching me, and stopped me. They didn't speak any English, and my Italian was hopeless. One of the police officers showed me a translation in his rule book for the traffic offense of "reversing on the motorway". They asked if I had cash, but I only had credit cards. They took my driving license (which had my address on) as some kind of surety, completed a police report form that described the offense and also had my contact details, and said they would contact me.

When I got back to the UK I was told that although an EU member state could fine me for a driving offense, they couldn't take away my right to drive except in their country. I waited to receive a fine, but never heard from the police again, and have no idea where my old driving license is. I applied for a replacement driving license, and haven't been to Italy since then. I have also lost my copy of the police report.

Can anyone shed any light on this? Was this a serious offense, and what is the fine? Should I try to follow-up with the police, and if so how? Is there a statute of limitations regarding traffic violations and fines?

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Old 7th August 2009, 04:20 PM
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Normal things like photo radar are six months. But something like this? I doubt there is a limit but odds are everybody has forgotten it.

Reversing would be a ten point offence right now. OTOH if you did it 9 years ago the points would have come off your license a long time ago.

I'd let the sleeping dog sleep. No point doing anything else this late.

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