Over 1,000 people have had their driving licences withdrawn or suspended during the first half of this year due to driving offences, according to figures released by the Carabinieri in the province of Rome.

The total number of offences registered was 19,000, the most frequent being failure to do up seatbelts (2,500 offenders), followed by failure to use viva voce or earphone options so that both hands may be kept on the wheel while using a mobile phone (1,600).

Offenders driving under the influence of alcohol (451) and those under the influence of drugs (200) were punished by immediate withdrawal of their licences.

There were over 2,900 accidents registered over the same period, 51 of which involved fatalities. Roughly 122 Carabineri road safety units operate throughout Rome and province checking up on undisciplined drivers.

According to the World Health Organization, roughly 30 per cent of serious or fatal accidents that occur in Italy are due to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.