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NAPLES, Italy — Motorists in Naples could be in for some delays every Thursday in February and March because of the city’s anti-smog plan, according to U.S. and Italian officials.

U.S. military and civilians driving vehicles registered with AFI (Allied Forces Italy) plates, are exempt from the driving bans, regardless of whether they have had those AFI plates converted to what are called “cover plates,” or tags that resemble Italian license plates, according to the base public affairs office.

However, because Italian police won’t know at first sight if the vehicles have cover plates, U.S. motorists have been warned by base officials to anticipate being stopped, and to be prepared to present vehicle registration forms to local authorities.

Naples’ anti-smog plan works like this: from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., on even-numbered Thursdays, (i.e., Feb. 2, Feb. 16, etc.), even-numbered tagged vehicles are allowed on the roadways, meaning those with odd-numbered tags are banned. Likewise, on odd-numbered Thursdays, only odd-tagged vehicles are permitted, according to information posted on Naples’ official Web site.

The ban exempts all “ecological vehicles,” such as hybrids, electric cars and those that run on butane gas.

Also, on all Sundays in February and March, all vehicles will be banned from driving in downtown Naples from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., except on those Sundays in which the Naples soccer team plays at home. Naples’ only scheduled February home game is Sunday. A schedule for March has not been posted.

Again, AFI-registered vehicles are exempt from the ban, but motorists should be prepared to be stopped by officials.


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