Parking in Rome is, in theory, set to get easier. The city council, has announced that it will test a parking payments system that, in Europe at least, has only been introduced successfully in Amsterdam and Dublin. From September, drivers parking in a trial section of the citys blue parking zones, easily identified by their strisce blu blue-stripes, will be able to pay for parking spaces simply by sending a text message containing a special PIN. Drivers need to register with the STA, Romes traffic authority, before they can use the system, which will automatically debit the users account or credit card. A second SMS tells the system when the driver has left his/her space. A special squad of 250 traffic inspectors will police the scheme with specially equipped palm pilots, which can check licence plate numbers in STAs database of registered users via satellite link.
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