IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The New Italian Road Code and the virtues of the ‘shame lane’


  • Matteo Richiardi

    (LABORatorio Revelli Centre for Employment Studies)


In July 2003 a new Road Code was approved by the Italian parliament. Among many reforms whose validity is not questioned here, the new law states that on three-lane motorways the right lane should not be reserved anymore to slow vehicles alone. As in two-lane roads, all vehicles must now drive on the right lane, as long as it is not occupied by other vehicles. The model developed in this paper casts doubts on the validity of such a change, suggesting that the old rule generally performs better, in terms of number of accidents, average speed and motorway capacity, than the new one. This conclusion is shown to be extremely robust to refinements of the main assumptions concerning driving attitudes and the stochastic arrival of accidents.

Suggested Citation

  • Matteo Richiardi, 2004. "The New Italian Road Code and the virtues of the ‘shame lane’," Computational Economics 0401002, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpco:0401002
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on WinXP; pages: 21

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arnott, Richard & de Palma, Andre & Lindsey, Robin, 1990. "Economics of a bottleneck," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 111-130, January.
    2. Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-260, May.
    3. F. H. Knight, 1924. "Some Fallacies in the Interpretation of Social Cost," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(4), pages 582-606.
    4. Elliott Peranson & Alvin E. Roth, 1999. "The Redesign of the Matching Market for American Physicians: Some Engineering Aspects of Economic Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 748-780, September.
    5. Gipps, P. G., 1986. "A model for the structure of lane-changing decisions," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 403-414, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Traffic; Simulation; Italian Road Code;

    JEL classification:

    • C8 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpco:0401002. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.