Mamma Mia! Tiny Italian town catches 58,000 speeding in two weeks

20 November 2018, 10:15 | Updated: 20 November 2018, 12:32

A tiny Italian town has caught more than 58,000 people speeding in two weeks after setting up a trial speed camera.

Alessandro Alessandri, the mayor of Acquetico, a tiny village of 120 mostly elderly people near the French border in northern Italy, installed the camera after dozens of complaints about speeding.

The results revealed 58,568 speeding offences were committed in a fortnight between 13 and 27 September.

On average, a car was caught speeding through the 50km/h (31mph) zone every few minutes, with the worst offender clocked doing 135km/h (84mph).

Figures showed that the 20 worst offenders sped through the village in the middle of the day.

Mr Alessandri told Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera 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 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.

The mayor is planning to make the experiment with the camera, placed near the village's main pedestrian crossing, permanent.

Mr Alessandri said he couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the data, which showed one in three drivers breaking the speed limit.

"It's really madness, considering that we have inhabitants who regularly move within the village and cross the road," Mr Alessandri told Italy's Ansa news agency.

"A pedestrian risks being hit by a speeding car at 135km/h, maybe at 4pm on an ordinary afternoon.

"We hope these speed gauges can be an effective deterrent to motorists and that they can benefit the citizens of Acquetico, because we don't want to make money with the fines, but they're necessary to protect people's safety."