As from1 July everyone in Italy between the age of 14 and 18 must have a licence to drive a moped or a 50 cc miniature motorcar. To obtain the licence it is necessary to pass an oral but not a practical driving exam.

The minister of infrastructure, Pietro Lunardi, has refused to postpone the July deadline for the law even though only about 300,000 young people have their licences, less than half of those who should have them.

Lunardi, who has come in for strong criticism over his inflexibility, is quoted as saying, "The law is the law and everyone has had a year to get a licence. If they have not done so it is their problem."

Anyone found without a licence risks a fine of up to 516 and the confiscation of the moped or vehicle for 60 days. Young motorcyclists without the necessary licence are not covered by insurance.