January 10, 2021 – A couple of days ago we told you about the risks introduced by regional law number 5 of 2019 amended in recent days in Piedmont. In summary, there was the doubt that in the presence of accommodation facilities, overnight parking was prohibited and there was (there is) the certainty that free camping, in addition to being prohibited, can lead not only to a penalty from €250 to €1,000, but even to the seizure of the vehicle. We therefore wrote to the Associazione Nazionale Coordinamento Camperisti (ANCC, the most important campers association in Italy) to get an opinion on the matter.
The response was reassuring, both with regard to the possibility of staying outside the accommodation areas and, above all, with regard to the use of the heating and gas refrigerator. “There are no problems for overnight parking in motorhomes,” writes the ANCC, “because, thanks to the intervention of the Associazione Nazionale Coordinamento Camperisti, on the occasion of participation in the work relating to the drafting of the implementing regulations of the regional law, in the text published in the BUR of 7 January 2021 of the Piedmont Region, in the notes the legislation coordinated with law no. 5/2019, in article 7 specifies:
(Amendments to article 10 of regional law 5/2019)
1. At the end of article 10, paragraph 2, of regional law 5/2019, the words are added: “, without prejudice to the parking of recreational vehicles in compliance with article 185 of Legislative Decree 285/1992”.
In summary, the ban on overnight stays does NOT concern motorhomes”.
But the doubts are others
In fact, this was not the greatest doubt, given the clarity of that point. In fact, prohibitions and penalties are triggered when the stop is passed to the contestation of “camping”. And here article 185 becomes less clear, when it says that “The parking of motorhomes, where permitted, on the roadway does not constitute camping, encampment or similar if the vehicle does not rest on the ground except with wheels, it does not emit its own flow, except those of the mechanical engine…“. Rivers of words have been written on outflows since 1992, since gas refrigerators and heating (gas and diesel) emit different ones from those of the engine.
Important is the clarification of the ANCC: “Since 1991 (year of the enactment of Law 336/91) and then from the New Traffic Laws until 2020, the Associazione Nazionale Coordinamento Camperisti has NOT received high fines for the violation it issues its own outflows, those of the mechanical engine. Therefore, any disquisition in this regard is an exercise for its own sake that does not fall within the technical-legal activities of the Associazione Nazionale Coordinamento Camperisti. The tranquility for us motorhomers therefore comes from historicity: up to now there are no fines for a fridge or a stove in operation, and we hope that this will continue.
The sanctions are disturbing
In any case, separate outflows – and remembering that compass windows, doors and steps must remain closed during the stop – it is not possible to totally exclude being faced with camping disputes, with the related disturbing penalties. “Given that the ban takes effect only in the presence of a municipal ordinance that recalls the regional law“, writes the ANCC, “it is very possible that a mayor will issue a provision that does not take into account the clarification and the traffic police fines and/or seizes. In fact, despite the law concerning the circulation and parking of motorhomes has been in force since 1991, there are always mayors who issue ordinances in violation of the law, forcing us to bring them to trial”.
There is also the doubt linked to article 2bis, which states: “The provisions of this article do not apply to occasional settlements, which do not exceed 48 hours, of single vehicles or mobile arrangements for overnight stays in places where outdoor accommodation complexes or authorized parking areas“. It would therefore seem that in places where there are campsites and rest areas it is impossible to stay freely overnight in your own vehicle. And here the legislator has thought to complicate the situation, inserting – next to parking and camping – the concept of “occasional settlement”, which goes alongside the “stay” not allowed mentioned in paragraph 1.
Together we are stronger
The only defense weapons at our disposal are common sense, education and, when these are not enough, the challenge of any sanctions. Doing it yourself can be complicated and expensive. Our suggestion is to register with the ANCC, which will be able to give us a hand in case of absurd disputes. The basic card is valid for one year (per calendar year, valid until December 2021) and costs €20. “Since our time and resources are dedicated to the associates, the Associazione Nazionale Coordinamento Camperisti DOES NOT respond to the non-associated motorhome owner and only contacts us when they encounter a problem“, concludes the Association.
For the sake of completeness, we report here the text of the law 5/2019 of the Piedmont Region which governs the stop/camping/stay/occasional settlement:
Art.10. (Exemptions and exclusions)
1. It is not allowed to stay with fittings or other mobile means of accommodation outside the areas identified in articles 6 and 8, except for:
a) open spaces intended for campers to stay inside the agritourism accommodation facilities in accordance with the regional legislation in force on the subject;
b) the areas for itinerant tourism in favor of recreational vehicles identified by Legislative Decree 285/1992 and the relative implementation regulation;
c) the private areas and spaces offered in garden sharing mode, pursuant to article 7, with the owner’s consent.
2. Free camping is not allowed in any form, except for the parking of recreational vehicles in compliance with Article 185 of Legislative Decree 285/1992.
2 bis. The provisions of this article do not apply to occasional settlements, which do not exceed 48 hours, of individual vehicles or mobile arrangements for overnight stays in places where there are no places available in open-air accommodation complexes or authorized parking areas.
Art. 21 (Sanctions)
1. Anyone who contravenes the obligation referred to in Article 10, paragraph 2, is subject to the payment of a pecuniary administrative sanction from €250.00 to €1,000.00, as well as the administrative seizure of the mobile means of accommodation.
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