Enough was enough for the elderly residents of Acquetico as they demanded action to clamp down on cars and motorcycles speeding dangerously through their little village.
Acquetico may only be a tiny Italian village in the municipality of Pieve di Teco, in the province of Imperia, region of Liguria but, thanks to demands for action from its predominantly elderly residents worried about their safety, it has caught an incredible 58,500 people speeding in their cars just two weeks after setting up a trial speed camera.
Alessandro Alessandri, the mayor of Acquetico, located near the French border in northern Italy, and home to 120, says he installed the camera after dozens of complaints from village residents about speeding.
Alessandri said he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the data, which showed one in three drivers breaking the speed limit.
On average, the camera caught a car speeding through the village’s 50km/h (31mph) speed limit every few minutes, with the worst offender clocked doing 135km/h (84mph). The 20 worst offenders sped through the village in the middle of the day.
Speaking to Italian news agency ANSA, Alessandri said: “It’s really madness, considering that we have inhabitants who regularly move within the village and cross the road.”
Alessandri said that a state highway, the SS28, running through the town, is the source of the problem. It is one of the three main routes connecting the neighbouring Piedmont region to Italy’s northern coast and has the fewest speed bumps, speed radars and tolls.
Motorcyclists also take advantage of Acquetico’s “ideal asphalt, good width, [and] continuous bends” to stage races between larger towns on the route, he said.
“We hope that these speed gauges can be an effective deterrent to motorists and that they can benefit the citizens of Acquetico, because you do not want to make cash with the fines, but it is necessary to protect people’s safety,” Alessandri added.
The mayor is planning to make the experiment with the camera, placed near the village’s main pedestrian crossing, permanent.