A British woman who racked up an impressive £76,000 of traffic fines over a few weeks has been collared by Italian police.
The 62-year-old woman had been caught speeding and entering traffic restricted areas 1,500 times over the space of a few weeks.
Her UK registered Mercedes was causing Italian cops a few issues because of its lineage – the Italian authorities aren't permitted to use foreign vehicle registration systems.
She was eventually nicked when her car was spotted parked up, so the cops waited for her to return and gave her the news that she owed £76k for 1,500 violations.
The Smokey believe she thought her plates meant she couldn't be traced so could do as she pleased. However, she's now got a 90,000 euro bill to pay.
Enza Mondillo of the Florence traffic police commented: "Her car was photographed 1,500 times breaking speed limits and entering traffic controlled parts of the city... I understand from our fines department that she has called in a lawyer to help her but the law is clear here and the Highway Code was broken so she will have to pay - although I'm sure we would probably come to some agreement to settle the fines in instalments."
This particular perp isn't alone in thinking she can flout foreign traffic laws because of her plates – anyone who has driven through Calais after alighting a ferry or Le Shuttle will attest to seeing British drivers letting their right feet become very heavy indeed.
However, breaking the laws in France can see caught drivers stung by Le Plod's zero-tolerance on-the-spot fines. If you're nicked you can be fined up to £200 and escorted to a cash point to make sure you pay up. People going too quickly can see themselves banned from driving in the country – Lewis Hamilton fell foul of this a few years ago.
In the UK over 180,000 parking and speeding fines are avoided by foreign drivers every year.
Diplomats are apparently most proficient at avoiding the fees thanks to their immunity from prosecution. The estimated cost of trying to chase up the outstanding fines is £10 million.