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Italy Invites Tattle-Tales

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On: Mon, Feb 3, 2014 at 4:59PM | By: Karen Cook

Italy Invites Tattle-Tales

Remember when you were young and there were those things that adults talked about and did that were either hidden from the “children” or not discussed in front of them? This covered everything from books and magazines to movies and certain topics of conversation. When I was old enough to be privy to these things, I found among my dad’s belongings a pad of “parking citations.” Now my father was a police officer, but they weren’t those kinds of citations. These were a novelty and were intended for non-police citizens to leave on the windshields of drivers who were caught doing those irritating things that we all hate (except for those who do them, I guess). There were several categories and they all came with some very adult name calling. Even without the fine I’m sure it made you feel better to leave one for the guy who took up two parking spaces.

The Romans have taken this concept a step further and this new idea comes with the added bonus of monetary punishment. The process uses modern technology instead of paper and is as simple as taken a picture of the “offender” with your phone and posting it to the traffic department’s Twitter account. Not only do the violators have to suffer the shame of public exposure, the police department can issue citations if the case warrants this action. In the first month the city has received 1,100 complaints, has addressed 740 of them, and has issued hundreds of citations.

Italy, and Rome especially, has a severe parking problem. There really isn’t enough space for the traffic there; even though most residents have tiny cars, finding a place to park them is sometimes a daunting task. This is no excuse for breaking the law or creating an unsafe situation, however. In addition to issuing tickets and levying fines, the city is planning to use the information received through the photos and complaints to target problem areas and hopefully address them by providing more parking.

I still have those novelty tickets. I never use them because I am a small individual and I fear getting caught leaving one. I can have a verbal battle with anyone, but I’m no match for most people physically. I would use this Italian option though, even if it does feel a little like tattling.


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