Cops in Rome count on Twitter for reports of illegal parking

Does your Smartcar really need all that space?


Miles Klee


Published Jan 31, 2014   Updated May 31, 2021, 7:42 pm CDT

Automotive congestion in Rome is the stuff of legend, with narrow streets the norm and triple-parking not uncommon. Now police are tapping social media in order to punish traffic violations: any tattletale who sees a Fiat or Vespa illegally situated can tweet details to @PLRomaCapitale, then sit back and wait for confirmation that the vehicle has been ticketed.

In fact, taking photos of cars parked in pedestrian crosswalks, or on sidewalks, and sometimes just in the middle of the road, has become a noble sport for the exasperated citizenry. It’s certainly a good way to vent about entitlement, or “defiance and arrogance,” as this user had it:

Cafoni Riuniti a #Testaccio @PLRomacapitale carro attrezzi please. È solo l’esempio peggiore. Spregio e arroganza.

— sara pampaloni (@fixerinitaly) January 22, 2014

In a matter of hours, fines are meted out. “3 cars were sanctioned,” the police noted here:

@MPierbattisti @romacapitaleTW Italia ang. via Puccini sono state sanzionate 3 autovetture.

— PoliziaRomaCapitale (@PLRomaCapitale) January 31, 2014

The @PLRomaCapitale account also keeps tabs on various closures and repairs—anything that a driver might need to know about. Here, for example, is their map of flooding and other problems brought about by a recent major storm. “Ready for the maze?” the caption reads.

Ecco gli effetti del nubifragio a #Roma in questa mappa della @PLRomaCapitale . Pronti allo slalom?

— Roberto Miliacca (@socialmiliac) January 31, 2014

Business Insider quoted Raffaele Clemente, new head of Rome’s urban police force, on the importance of cultivating a city-wide network of informants. “Sharing, such as on social networks, is needed to fight certain patterns of illegality and rule-breaking, and also of crime,” he said. In other words, cultural attitudes are best modified with mass involvement.

A Via Monte della Farina auto continuano ad abbattere paletti e parcheggiarsi sui percorsi pedonali @PLRomaCapitale

— Roma fa schifo (@romafaschifo) January 29, 2014

Does the service herald a brave new future for Rome’s motorists, one with less road rage and more time saved? Well, parking is just part of the equation. There’s only so much you can do about stuff like this:

Un incoraggiamento e un grazie a tutti i vigili che stanno gestendo questa grave emergenza.

— Raffaele Clemente (@raffaeleclement) January 31, 2014

H/T Business Insider | Photo by Matthew Tessarolo/Flickr

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*First Published: Jan 31, 2014, 1:35 pm CST