The typical Bolognese driver is now more conscientious regarding parking, slightly less of a speed hog, but a lot more careless on bus lanes and limited traffic areas. And above all, they are intolerant to red traffic lights. This worrisome profile has shown up in the latest stats in the 2017 road traffic offenses compared to the previous year: 913,584 total reports, over 200,000 more than in 2016. With the exception from the speed cameras in Via Stalingrado and Viale Panzacchi, there were 95,366 fines in total.
The most significant response from the City Council to the question of Marco Lisei (leader of Forza Italy) reveals that there were 11,017 fines from traffic light cams last year, compared to 3,598 in 2016. Almost four times more. It’s an exponential increase no doubt, even considering that the previous peak had been in 2013 with 4,910 sanctions for breaking a red light. On the other hand, sanctions for both the Scout Stop and the Scout Speed (mobile units) decreased, as did the mobile survey systems for car parks and speed respectively.
If the 2016 fines were respectively 43,360 and 3,815, the following year went down to significant levels of 30,221 for parking and 3,522 for speed limit overruns. Turning to Sirio and Rita instead, or the electronic eyes that keep an eye on access into the city regarding restricted traffic areas and the bus lanes, the fines start to rise again. In particular, for Rita, where the increase was significant: from 230,050 sanctions handed out in 2016, it rose to 365,128 in 2017. More drivers were recorded by Sirio, where the fines increased in a year by 15,000 (from 206,000 to 221,000).
Another category of data raises particular issues concerning the number of citizens’ appeals against disputed fines: in 6 years the already low percentage has halved. In 2011 only 3.8% of sanctions had achieved any recourse (21,339 in total), whereas in 2017 the number fell by1.9% or 17,887. This is down to the fact that all expenses must be incurred – compared to the amount of the fine – which often limit an applicant’s ambition to fight such cases. Finally, fines for mopeds have practically remained unchanged: in 2016 there were 10,007, seeing a slight fall to 9,453 in 2017.
Galeazzo Bignami, deputy of Forza Italia, and the group leader Marco Lisei attacked these numbers.
“We believe that road safety is a serious goal. With the sanctions alone, it is not going anywhere if not to reform the coffers of the Municipality. For this reason we believe that some tools are useful, like the traffic light cams, and others useless, like speed cameras. Scout Stop, however, is becoming a harassment in some areas where before we should think about creating parking spaces, especially in the vicinity of commercial activities.”