In September we were traveling around Italy in a rental car. We have just received a statement from Avis saying they have billed us $40 for a parking ticket in Pisa. We do remember a day when we thought we found the world's best parking spot. There were no signs posted but we suspected we should not park there. We took the chance. We are not sure why it took so long to receive the ticket.
So, what traffic violations have you had in other countries and what is the most expensive parking ticket you have received?
You have to look out for blue stripes painted along the roadway...they indicate pay parking and even if you don't see a machine for paying, you will be ticketed. That happened to me in Spain. I took the ticket to a nearby Avis shop and they told me that I didn't have to pay the ticket because the police officer never entered the car's plate #. Sorry you weren't so lucky!
In response to: Msg #129907
Yeah same thing happened to us. It was our first night in Italy in the town of Vasto in Abruzzo. We spent more than 1/2 hour trying to find this b&b. When we did find it, we thought we were lucky in that we found a parking spot only about 100 metres away. Two hours later we came back and found a CDN$55.00 ticket. Same deal with us. Those blue lines! We had travelled throughout Italy many times before and this was the first time that we "learned" what the BLUE lines meant. The owner of the b&b had to get instructions from the tobacco shop on HOW to buy and mark a ticket to put on the windshield.
The next morning it took us 2 hours trying to pay the parking ticket. Standing in long lines at the post office only to find that we had to go to the Municipio. There we stood in line again only to find that we had to go back to the post office, because we had rental car and no one would accept our money. I finally got MAD! (I speak a little Italian!) An Italian in line behind me took my ticket, went up to the teller and said "look these are tourists, they don't understand, but they WANT to pay!" He filled out our parking fine, we went back to the post office and our money was accepted!
Needless to say we have avoided those BLUE parking spots ever since!
I received a parking ticket in Brugges even though I had diplomatic plates. Diplomats do have to pay for tickets...at least American ones.
I also received a speeding ticket in Austria when I wasn't a diplomat. I didn't want to pay to use the Austrian autobahn from the German border to Innsbruck, so took the back roads through all the little villages. The speed limit was constantly going up and down, and somehow I missed a down that wasn't even in a town. Obvious speed trap, and I got caught. I paid the officer on the spot.
On arrival in Paris in 2009, we could not find a parking spot close to my cousin's apartment, so I decided to chance it and parked in a handicapped space - I never do this back home so why I did then astounds me!
Anyway, we unloaded our gear and lugged it to the apartment. After being greeted by my cousins and sharing a glass of cremant I pushed the thought of moving the car to the back of my mind. Big mistake!
We had lunch and chatted a bit, after all we had not seen each other since 2007. The car had now been in the disabled spot for a few hours and my cousin suggested we should move it. We stroll up the street to the corner I left it on and to my surprise there is a Porsche parked in the exact same spot now not my Peugeot - mmm curious!
After some phone calls to the Police I discover that my rental car has been towed to a site not far away in an under ground car park. Catch is that it will cost me €136 to retrieve the car - bugger.
So, with cap in hand and the help of my cousin, I find my way to the underground compound where my car has been impounded. I line up with all the other miscreants who have strayed off the straight and narrow path of legal parking.
When it is my turn at the window with the Police person I try my best "I am just a dumb Aussie tourist" routine. When the Police person explains in French that "this is not an acceptable excuse" I just have to try the old "sorry, I do not understand French, I am just a dumb Aussie tourist" routine again and it gets me the following response ... "Pouvez-vous juste payer les honoraires ou voulez-vous payer le double?". Forget the double bit - My response was "Merci - voici l'argent" - I paid up and collected my car!
Back at the apartment I re-read the paperwork I was given and realised that aside from the €136 to collect the car I also had to pay a fine of €135 - merde that sure changed my cheap car rental unto a very expensive exercise. Luckily I am able to let these things slide and not spoil my holiday - after all it was my bloody stupid fault anyway!
Rob and Lorenza,
As I was reading your posting I could feel your pain. I'm sure all of us that have written on this posting feel the way you do..............after all it was my bloody stupid fault anyway!
When we parked we had the feeling that our spot was too good to be true. We should have trusted our gut feeling.
Luckily Sofia was asleep in the back when I had to bribe a cop in Lithuania. Story here:
That did not work, lets try this