The postman brought me a letter from Italy the other day. Normally, that would be a welcome development, but in this case, when I saw the company name on the envelope, “Easy Car”, I knew there was no cause for celebration. Sure enough, the letter was notification that they’d passed my details to the police. And charged me fifty euro for the pleasure.

Just in case you weren’t keeping up, it’s February 2010. The reason the Italian police are interested in me is that on 27th April 2009, I exceeded the speed limit at Fiumicino airport. According to the ticket, which I have so far only in photocopy from Easy Car, on Viale Mario de Bernardi, at 17:14, proceeding in the direction of the terminals, I did 64 kph in a 60 kph zone.

Actually, if I understand the Italian text correctly, I was clocked at 69, but they deduct 5% and round down to allow for any inaccuracy in their equipment. Nice of them. (If you’re more used to speed in miles per hour, the limit was 37, my legal speed was 40 and my actual speed 43.)

Naturally, I checked back in my diary to see if I was at the airport when they said I was. And I was. Then I looked at Gooogle Maps to see the road. (At Fiumicino airport, the roads are all named after aviation pioneers. Mario de Bernardi won the Schneider trophy in 1926.)

Viale de Bernardi is the slip road off the autostrada, where you enter the airport. Perfect place for the police to hang around and catch people who hadn’t quite slowed down enough. I didn’t see them at the time, but I’m perfectly willing to admit that they were there and got me fair and square. I don’t see any speed limit signs on Gooogle Street View, but we’ll forget that. If the fine arrives, I’ll pay it. Don’t want to antagonise the authorities.

I won’t be renting from Easy Car again though. Fifty euro to process an address request? And it took ten months to do it? Bastards.

Google street views
Follow that small red truck. He’s about to turn off the autostrada and the traffic cops are probably waiting round the bend of the slip road.


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