Free safe driving course for foreigners in Rome

Increasing number of foreign drivers involved in road accidents in Italy

There are now more than three million vehicles registered to foreign nationals in Italy, an increase of 34 per cent over the past two years. The increased number of foreign drivers on Italy's roads has also led to an increase in the number of traffic accidents involving foreigners: up to 90 cases daily with an average of 141 injuried and 1.4 deaths per day.

The foreigners that record the most accidents are Romanians (4,753 cases), followed by Albanians (3,504), Moroccans (3,142), Chinese (1,215), Moldovans (735), Tunisians (700), Peruvians (678), Egyptians (675), Serbs (607) and Ecuadorians (586).

These numbers have prompted the Automobile Club d'Italia (ACI) to offer 3,000 foreigners the chance to participate in free safe driving classes at the Centro ACI-SARA di Vallelunga, near Rome.

On completing the course, which costs €400 for Italians but is free for foreigners, drivers are designated "Ambassadors for Road Safety”. Organisers say that a safe driving course reduces the probability of an accident by a third, as proved by Austria after it introduced an obligatory safe driving course within three years of drivers obtaining their license.

The Rome course, which is sponsored by ACI and SARA Insurance, is open to foreigners who are resident in Italy and already possess full driving licenses.

A bus will collect drivers from various locations in Rome, including Termini station, returning them to the capital after the course, free of charge. For more details and to enroll, see website.