VICENZA, Italy (February 26, 2019) -- You are ready to explore Italy: you have your SETAF driver's license, insurance, proof of registration, and a vehicle. Driving in another country, however, is a different experience and members of the Vicenza Military Community must comply with the applicable traffic laws of the country in which they are travelling.

Before driving in Italy or another country, familiarize yourself with local road conditions and traffic laws. Recently, the Italian government increased fines for traffic violations. Road penalties increased by 2.2 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2019.

For example, fines for parking in a no-parking zone increased one euro (from €41 to €42), and fines for operating a vehicle while using a cellular phone, without headset or speakerphone, increased four euros (from €161 to €165).

The new rules also increased driver penalty points. Motor vehicle operators who are caught without compulsory insurance are penalized with the deduction of five license points or 10 license points for drivers with less than three years driving experience. The list of penalties for driving without compulsory insurance also include doubling the fine (from the minimum of € 1,682 to € 6,574) and suspension of the driver's license for up to two months if the infringement is repeated within two years.

For advice on these issues or assistance on Italian traffic tickets, visit the Vicenza Legal Assistance Office at Building 166 on Caserma Ederle.