Rome

Highway code needs 'rewrite,' says infrastructure minister

Law passes in Cabinet to improve safety and maintenance

Highway code needs 'rewrite,' says infrastructure minister

Rome, July 26 - Italy's highway code needs to be completely rewritten, Infrastructure Minister Maurizio Lupi said on Friday. "The Highway code has 240 articles and since 1990 it has undergone 70 amendments. We need a new, rational, deregulated highway code," Lupi said. Italy's Cabinet approved a bill that includes changes to protect motorcyclists and cyclists from bad road conditions, as well as crack down on mini-cars that have moped license plates since their engines are 150ccs or less, allowing youth under 18 to legally drive them. "Our cities and streets are full of so-called 'mini-cars' driven by young people between 14 and 18 whom are not always very good at driving and not always aware of the risks they face and present," Italian Premier Enrico Letta said. The law is designed to "ensure a logical regulation of license plates for vehicles that have the same characteristics of a car and carry the same risks and dangers," Letta said. The law is also designed to cut mortality rates for cyclists and motorcyclists in half. "Fifteen percent of road deaths are caused by the bad condition of our streets. Our objective is to increase road works, maintenance and upkeep of guard rails," Lupi said. There has been a rash of high-profile cyclist deaths in Italy that have caused public outcry for better safety measures throughout the country. The point-deduction system used for driving licenses for cars will also be applied to moped permits for minors. The law will become definitive if it passes through parliament.

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