6/14/2009Italy: Free Pizza for Speed Camera Victims
A speed camera citation is the ticket to a free pizza in Rovigo, Italy as Maranello officials place cameras outside Ferrari factory.
A restaurant in Rovigo, Italy is offering a free pizza to "console" drivers hit by speed camera tickets. The Ristorante Teatro Caruso di Papozze offers a complimentary "Velox Pizza" to any customer who presents a copy of a photo radar citation. The restaurant's offer was inspired by complaints from regular patrons flashed by two speed cameras leading into the small community located about thirty miles outside of Venice.
In Italy, where the manufacture of high-performance automobiles including Ferraris and Lamborghinis is a source of pride, some believe the reliance on automated enforcement has gotten out of control. On May 30, the city of Maranello -- about two hours away from Rovigo -- installed a pair of fixed speed cameras on Via Giardini, the main route to the Ferrari factory itself. Officials hope to photograph test drivers and tourists alike with what a city press release described as "bi-directional" cameras capable of issuing tickets to those going to and coming from the factory on the 50km/h (31 MPH) road. The Galleria Ferrari museum is the most popular attraction in the area, attracting 200,000 racing fans from around the world each year.
The controversy over photo enforcement has spawned a number of intense legal battles. Earlier this month, a police force controlled by the Ministry of Finance confiscated fifty speed cameras and canceled 81,555 citations after evidence suggested the calibration documents for the automated ticketing machines had been falsified. This action followed the January arrest of makers of the T-Red brand of red light camera accused of a similar scheme. The police chiefs and mayors of more than seventy municipalities face ongoing corruption investigations over contracts signed with the companies involved in both scandals.