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Traffic Ticket

So we decided to drive from Riva de Garda to Pisa. We followed all the rules and paid all the fines. 2 mos later we get a letter from Hertz saying we received a citation. All is in Italian of course. Can anyone help. It seems as though there's only one citation, speeding. Yet there's a #1 ticket with a diff amount and another said #2 with another amount.

Posted by
4152 posts

You can use googletranslate to translate your tickets.

It looks like you've received two speeding tickets. These infractions would have been because your car was photographed entering and exiting the speed zone and the timings meant you were speeding.

They may have been from two different areas or you could have been going different speeds which may account for the different prices.

Donna

Posted by
11 posts

Thank you Donna but even the translation doesn't seem to help. I think it gave us payment options because in the lettet it only seems to state one violation. I am trying to get help from a family friend who actually lives in Italy. Also the hotel we stayed in we asked for help. This sucks. We were going less than the locals in speed :(

Posted by
4012 posts

This sucks. We were going less than the locals in speed :(

It's a scam, they knew you were tourists and were simply picking on you or maybe the locals know where the speed cameras are and slow down accordingly.

Why does it suck? You exceeded the speed limit and got caught, easily avoidable.

Posted by
15621 posts

Yeah, but the locals knew where the speed cameras were, and slowed down to doge them. You say

We followed all the rules and paid all the fines

What fines? Do you mean the charge on your credit card from Hertz? That was just their fee for telling the police where to send the ticket.

Posted by
11 posts

It sucks cause we thought we were going slower than everyone lol. Everyone was making us get out of their way.

We paid all the "toll fines" sorry. That's what I meant. We are ready to pay of course but I just need to know exactly how to.

Posted by
1769 posts

What's a "toll fine" in your mind?

Even if you loose the ticket before the exit and receive a "fine" (let's call it a fine even if it's just the highets possible toll on that road) you can get it reduced online to the amount you actually owe.

Anyway, you did not receive a fine, rental agencies do not send/forward fines. They received a request from the cops saying: tell us who was driving this car or pay.

Is your name written somewhere? I bet no. You will receive a fine via registered letter from the cops explaining how to pay/appeal.

they knew you were tourist

How?

Posted by
15621 posts

That was just JC employing a bit of British sarcasm.

I am guessing that the OP is from somewhere in the US that does not have toll roads, so thinks the toll is a "fine". Definitely does not live anywhere between Chicago and Boston.

Edit - Rephrasing JC reference

Posted by
11 posts

So basically we got a ticket and I'm just trying to get help on figuring out how to pay it since the entire letter is in Italian. Thanks all. I live in Cali and yes I mean TOLL. I just now received a little help that it's only a speeding ticket and nothing else. I sent a copy of the email Hertz shared with us, including the ticket amount to a friend that knows someone that lives in Italy. Hopefully that will help me more. Thanks all.

Posted by
2513 posts

Was it a snail mail letter from Hertz or an email? Regardless, this was just to notify you that you have a citation coming. Hertz will bill you for their fee for supplying the police with your contact info. But that fee should appear on the CC you used for the rental car. In due time the actual citation will arrive (in Italian), with instructions on how to pay for it.

Posted by
1769 posts

As I said before, is your name written somewhere on the letter forwarded by the rental agency? If not, you did not receive any fine. Cops send fines, not rental agencies.
That letter is written in italian because it's addressed to an Italian company, not to you. Do not try to pay a fine before receiving the registered letter from the cops, you'll end up paying twice.

Posted by
1700 posts

The normal way this happens is you get 2 letters / or maybe 1 email and then a letter.
The one from Hertz or whatever rental car company is just alerting you that they gave your name to the authorities because of a citation.
They ding your credit card for their time and effort ; cost seems to vary but 30 euro is approx. the fee and has nothing to do the fine itself. Just a Hertz service fee.
This one you don't do anything with, just file it away they already charged your credit card on file for it.

After that will come the actual citation from the police / town where the violation occurred. Once you get that if Google translate cannot not figure it out, send an image of it to your friend for translation help or post on the forum the parts that don't make sense and I am sure folks on this board can help.

As of right now it is unclear what you have and you started off on a bad foot by acting like a victim (you were going less than others, you paid your tolls, etc...).

Posted by
20718 posts

Again, reading between the lines. And guessing from the very limited information. My best guess is that the two amounts refer to the timing of your payment. If you pay before a certain date it is one amount and after that date a higher amount. Common and similar to the pattern for US traffic tickets. If you had received two separate tickets then most likely Hertz would have billed you for two administrative fee for two separate tickets. And, finally, it might be two tickets forwarded together with one administrative fee from Hertz. Since you forwarded to your friends in Italian who I assume can read Italian, I would wait for their assessment.

Without being able to review your documents it is nearly impossible to provide solid advice.

Posted by
11 posts

Wasn’t acting like a victim. Was just shocked to get a ticket when we were the slowest car on the highway.

Yes Hertz will be billing ya for admin fee. The actual traffic violation is being mailed to us. Thanks everyone

Posted by
11 posts

Dario, no name at all on the letter. It was to Hertz. Then Hertz said they gave our info to the police department. Thank you. Yes they knew we were tourist because we were in a rental car

Posted by
8293 posts

“They knew we were tourists because we were in a rental car”

This may surprise you, but many Italians also rent cars and there is no sign on the car saying “I am Italian, not a tourist, do not give me a ticket”.

Posted by
1700 posts

"Wasn’t acting like a victim. Was just shocked to get a ticket when we were the slowest car on the highway."

The speed cameras are usually in plain site and GPS apps usually alter the driver to their presence in advance. Pointing this out because most of the other cars may have been driving faster than you 98% of the time but knew where to slow down to the limit as they passed the known location of the speed camera and you did not.

Posted by
11981 posts

Italians get fined for speeding by the hidden cameras too.
You can ask every single friend and relative I have in Italy. I have none who has never received at least one.
The only difference is that most foreign tourists don’t bother to pay the fine, while Italians have little choice.

Posted by
1700 posts

Those speed monitors I am certain are not the same as a speed camera that observes the speed of the car while taking a picture of the license plate.
The speed monitors are a driver's aid not an enforcement measure.

As to the attitude the OP is asking questions which get asked often, a simple search of the site could likely have given them the answer quicker. Reading through the posts they received good and more importantly accurate advice quickly. No one makes money here giving advice so a little thank you for someone else's time is appreciated.

And yes when you state things like we followed all of the rules, paid the fines, were traveling slower than everyone else you are playing the victim. it seems there is electronic evidence proving you did not follow the speed limit and were caught, that sucks and I would be upset if it happened to me but would own it rather than make excuses.

Posted by
11 posts

Thanks to everyone that took their time to answer some question and shed light. This was our first time driving in Italy and really thought, WOW, we drive pretty slow in California lol since everyone was riding our butt so to keep up, we drove going with the flow of traffic.very expensive lesson learned. I finally heard back from Hertz in Italy and they kind enough to explain the process more in detail since this was our very first international ticket!

This Forum has come to and end and again, thank you for everyone’s kind help and comments :)

Posted by
1666 posts

everyone was riding our butt so to keep up, we drove going with the flow of traffic. Very expensive lesson learned

I see this as an opportunity to provide some information to prospective drivers in Italy or other parts of Europe. Since I don't know where the OP was driving, I'm not suggesting what I describe below is what the OP was actually doing.

On multilane divided highways, especially the Autostrada, driving conventions are different from here in the US. They take the "slower traffic keep to the right" rule very seriously. You won't see cars hanging out in the left lane like you do here. You stay in the right lane and get in the left lane only to overtake slower traffic. The Autostrada top speed is 130km/hr, or about 83mph. I usually ran a comfortable 120-125. By staying in the right lane, nobody "rode my butt". Speeds do vary as you approach congested areas so stay alert for road signs. The locals knew speed changes and would slow down and I took that as a hint.

Also, just to be extra safe for timed toll tickets, we made sure to take a break. The Autogrills are a treat and well worth visiting. We had a wonderful lunch at one, complete with wild boar salami panini. If nothing else you can get a coffee and stretch your legs.

There were times in the heart of Tuscany on two lane roads where the locals wanted to drive faster than the posted limit and faster than I wanted to go (who wants to zip through Tuscany anyway?). If an impatient local got antsy, I'd find the first opportunity and pull over to let them by. I'd offer a friendly wave as they passed and more often than not got a wave of appreciation in return.

It's been two years since the last time we were in Italy ;-( and I never got a love letter for either speeding or driving in a ZTL. It may be me, I've gotten a total of two speeding tickets since I started driving in 1965.

Posted by
3470 posts

To expand on what DougMac stated about congested areas.
There are signs that state the speed limit for each lane. Both on overhead signs and on the pavement. A bit further down the road are the speed cameras. One for each lane. So let's say you're in the middle lane, someone's riding your butt, you move to the far right lane approaching the speed camera. Unfortunately your speed has not been reduced enough for that lane as you hit the camera...you've just gotten a speeding ticket !!!

Posted by
1700 posts

Another piece of advice to all:

Drive with an app like Waze running on your phone while driving.
Legality aside, this GPS app will in addition to providing directions will notify you of upcoming speed cameras all throughout Italy and elsewhere in Europe.

You will know in advance where they are and what speed you need to slow down to as you pass them.
This is basically what the locals know from experience driving the road daily and by using the app you can drive like the locals do and not get tickets.
Including speeding in areas without speed cameras (not endorsing that but I admit to doing it)

Other things to watch for:
If on the highway you see an overhead sign or alert from your phone stating TUDOR ; then slow down and drive the speed limit until you see another sign stating the end of the TUDOR section. In these areas the cameras are taking your average speed from point A to point B so catches those trying the speed up and then speed down for the camera plan. It is a controversial system that was in place, may still be or may be taken down in some places. Only found on the highways.

Posted by
20718 posts

The best advice --- Obey the speed limit. Then nothing bad can happen. Most rental cars have cruise control -- use it. You are on vacation. We actually spent two weeks with a car - son driving - last year in Italy. No tickets -- so far !!!!

Posted by
4012 posts

Drive with an app like Waze running on your phone while driving.
Legality aside, this GPS app will in addition to providing directions will notify you of upcoming speed cameras all throughout Italy and elsewhere in Europe.

This won't work with mobile speed cameras. I don't have sufficient knowlddge about Italian speed cameras but certainly in the UK the use of speed camera vans makes such apps redundant.

Posted by
11 posts

We were on our way to Venice if that helps any. A 2 hour drive from Riva. Should we ever go baxk fo Europe, we will just take the train lmao :))). Being adventurous didn’t pay us any good haha. Thanks again everyone. Happy Holidays!!!

Posted by
1666 posts

Should we ever go back to Europe....

"When we go back to Europe...."
Fixed it for you.

Happy travels!

Posted by
11 posts

Mr Doug, haha, well I said “should we ever go back” because at this point I’m thinking it’ll be a while (expensive). But YES! WHEN we go back, definitely NOT driving ourselves haha! Public transportation it is, lol

Posted by
248 posts

One thing I learned the hard way on 1st trip to Italy: In Italy if regular train service goes where you want to go, then go by train, there's a reason the locals do that.