Home arrow Lifestyle arrow American woman latest victim of Italian hit and run drivers

Other recent articles
Is Fiumicino Airport at Risk? Inappropriate building materials may have been used.
Italians feel vulnerable to encroaching poverty.
Wettest summer in 35 years
Donor insemination to come to Italy
Sites reopened at Pompeii
Sari's e-book on sale this weekend at Amazon
Alitalia’s fate hangs in the balance.
Berlusconi cannot leave Italy (for now)
Keep an eye on (or rather, in) your bill fold.


American woman latest victim of Italian hit and run drivers PDF Print E-mail
Oct 10, 2011 at 06:41 PM
Image A young American woman has been one of the most recent victims of a spiralling number of hit and run drivers here. A 56 year old building contractor turned himself in this weekend as the driver who last week brought to an absurd, early end the short life of Alison Owens, a 23-year old American tour guide.

Alison was killed a week ago Sunday while jogging along a road in northern Tuscany while listening to music on her iPod. An all-points search was on for the hit and run driver who says now he fell asleep at the wheel and woke up only when his car hit the guard-rail and was unaware of having hit someone. Police apparently do not believe his version; why did he take five days to make contact when the story was making headlines throughout the country, they ask.

But in the meantime, the tragic incident of a life cut short has refocused attention on the growing number of hit and runs here. Although it is sometimes hard to believe given the reckless driving habits of many Italians (and the failure of Italian police to regularly patrol major thoroughfares), road accidents in this country have dropped sharply - by 43.7% - over the last decade, with deaths from car accidents falling to 3,998 from the 7,100 recorded in 2001.

In contrast, the number of hit and runs continues to climb. In 2008, 400 people were killed or injured in hit and run accidents, a number which rose to 746 (in 585 incidents) in 2010 (of whom 98 died) and to 759 (in 644 such accidents) in the first nine months of this year, with 101 deaths recorded so far, th emost recent two occurring yesterday when thieves stole a truck and then fled after killed two people in a smaller car.

The available statistics indicate that in 22% of the cases, the drivers involved in hit and runs were under the influence of alcohol and drugs and indeed the Italian parliament is considering amending the Codice della Strada, the driving code, to establish the crime of vehicular homicide which currently does not exist. Minister of the Interior Roberto Maroni said recently that anyone who knowingly takes drugs or alcohol and then gets behind the wheel is knowingly accepting the risk of an accident and ought to be punished accordingly.

At the moment, 65% of hit and run drivers are eventually arrested here but this is likely to increase because of the growing number of street cameras and the willingness of witnesses to testify.


<Previous   Next>


Related items





5   4