Milan cracks down on foreign traffic offenders

Tired of seeing foreign motorists flouting traffic fines, Milan city council has invited tenders from companies equipped to trace owners of foreign-registered vehicles and deliver the notice of payment due in the owner’s own language.
Almost half of fines notified by the classical “multa” left under the windscreen wiper are simply ignored by the drivers of vehicles with foreign number plates.  In 2013, says Marco Granelli, councillor responsible for the vigili, 109,118 fines were notified, but 48,717 have not been paid. He estimates the loss of revenue at some €1.2 million.
While some countries, like Switzerland and Germany, cooperate with Italian traffic police in tracing a car’s owner, others are not so helpful, says Granelli.  Fully a quarter of the unpaid fines refer to vehicles registered in France, while Romania, Monaco, Bulgaria and Spain also figure on the black list.  One car registered in Romania and driven by a publisher working in Milan collected 489 traffic violations in a four-year period for almost €20,000 before the driver was caught red-handed, parking on a taxi stand, in 2012.
Now city hall has had enough of watching unscrupulous drivers enjoy relative immunity.  The contract will be offered to the company which can show it has access to vehicle registration services in the offenders’ home countries, and that it is able to emit a reminder of payment due in the language corresponding to the number plates.  The offender must be able to consult his or her fine online, and the payment details will be in the name of Milan city administration, so that the offender can be reassured that he is not the victim of a confidence trickster.  Notices will be sent by international registered mail.
The invitation to tender, published on the Comune website, expires on 18 January and is for a two-year contract, with payment on a scale according to the bailiff’s success in recovering the fines.

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