Driving in Italy - INTRODUCTION

1. The mark of a mature driver is the ability to drive anywhere without experiencing extreme irritation, frustration and trouble. Mature drivers, through conscious efforts and diligence, adapt their driving habits to traffic and road conditions prevailing in the area where they are driving. On the other hand, the mark of immature drivers is the tendency to complain and criticize conditions over which they have no control. It is essential that, at the outset of your tour in Italy, you adjust your driving habits to existing conditions to enable you to safely complete an accident-free tour.

2. This study guide has been prepared and distributed to aid you to Drive Defensively without accidents during your tour of duty in this area. It is also designed to assist you in passing the driver’s test. Do not be misled by your past driving experience even though it may have been accident-free in the United States. Driving in Europe requires great alertness combined with additional knowledge of local traffic regulations and driving habits.

3. In Italy, as in most European countries, mere negligence resulting in personal injuries or death constitutes a criminal offense. Therefore, any vehicle accident involving injuries or death may subject a driver to criminal prosecution in the Italian courts with the prospect of being fined or imprisoned. Punishments are especially severe for such offenses as improper passing, drunken driving, speeding and reckless driving. In addition, a factor of particular importance to Armed Forces personnel is the suspension of favorable personnel actions (Flagging) imposed by commanders as a result of criminal court proceeding pending completion in local courts. Read extracts from the Italian Road Code and the Italian Criminal laws in this study guide carefully, remember them and abide by them when you drive. You will note that most of the laws are quite similar to those in the United States. To assist you in your interpretation of the regulations and laws, a brief discussion is included on those points where differences occur which are in conflict with stateside laws and habits and other traffic problems which have been the principal contributing factors to accidents involving United States personnel in this area.

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