An Italian high court has declared that sections of the highway code, introduced in July 2003, are illegal. The court has ruled that points can be deducted from a licence only if the driver of the vehicle committing the offence can be established.

Until now points have been removed for a series of traffic offences, from speeding to jumping red traffic lights, on photographic evidence, or if the police stopped the offender personally.

If the offence was recorded photographically the points were automatically deducted from the vehicle owners licence, unless he or she declared that someone else was driving at the time.

In future the owner will receive a request to disclose who was at the wheel of the vehicle. Failure to provide the name will result in the owner receiving a fine from 343.35 to 1.376,55, but no points will be removed from his or her licence. If the owner identifies the driver, points will be removed from that persons licence but the fine will be much lower.

It is unlikely that those who have already lost points will be able to re-claim them. Under the Italian highway code a driving licence is suspended when 20 points are deducted.