Rome police have reportedly leveraged the benefits of social media to crack down on illegal parking throughout the chronically-congested city.
According to Reuters, citizens who spot illegally parked cars can now text a message to a dedicated police Twitter account, @PLRomaCapitale. Police are then dispatched to the scene, and either issue a fine or arrange to have the vehicle towed. The action taken in response to the parking infraction is then memorialized in a separate Tweet, usually sent within a few hours.
Raffaele Clemente, the head of Rome’s police force, says that using social media to combat illegal parking is designed to foster a cultural shift in the attitudes of drivers. “Sharing, such as on social networks, is needed,” according to Clemente, “to fight certain patterns of illegality and rule-breaking, and also of crime.”
There are an estimated 70 cars for every 100 Rome residents. That concentration, combined with a preference for private transportation and a widespread disregard for parking regulations reportedly makes the Ancient City a parking nightmare.