Consider ‘Waze’ App When You Start Traveling Again

Writer: Steve Dinnen
We arrived in Bologna on July 2, 2019, and left the food capital of Italy two days later. I was reminded of the dates by two letters that arrived just last week from the police department there that demanded 390 euros for two tickets I collected for straying into traffic-controlled areas called ZTLs – Zona a Traffico Limitato.

Sixteen months after the fact, I’m weighing whether to pay. I collected an overtime parking ticket in Sicily a few years back, and demand letters from them that started at 30 euros escalated to 200 euros. I finally replied that I didn’t intend to pay but would not fight extradition should they choose to bring me to justice in Italy. Never heard from them again.

Camera systems in ZTLs read license plates and issue tickets to characters like me. They’re all over Europe, but Italy has high hopes for their earnings power: In Florence alone, they issue more than 1,000 of these tickets every day.

Until recently I went to Spain three to four times a year on business. I always paid tickets I collected there. Not sure about Italy; I may remain a beffardo (scofflaw). But if I return there, I will avail myself of Waze – a free phone app that warns you when you’re approaching ticket territory. When the country reopens, consider doing likewise.

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