By train or on the roads in the summer of Covid


Mr. Forgione (State Police) explains: "The commitment in the stations will be strengthened.
Italy is restarted. But in phase 3 of the Covid 19 emergency , a different summer is
announced for road and rail traffic flows to tourist destinations. What will be the scenario?
We talked about it with Armando Forgione, Central Director for the Traffic, Railway and
Communications Police and for the Special Departments of the State Police. His curriculum
vitae also includes the management and planning of major events.

Can you envisage a calendar of the most intense traffic days?
"The resumption of normality, although slow, makes us expect a greater influx of travellers in
the coming weeks who will choose the train for tourist destinations. Since 3 June, there has
been an increase in the number of travellers, but it is not yet possible to predict the critical
days of July and August. The commitment of the Police will be strengthened inside the
stations, paying attention to compliance with emergency regulations. On the motorways and
on the roads closest to tourist destinations, high traffic volumes are expected during

There are still few signs to assess whether road traffic levels will return to 2019 volumes".
Do you expect a drop in flows from abroad? Are you coordinated with European police

"At the moment a significant drop is expected. In the context of international cooperation,
Polfer has kept it’s commitment to cooperate with European police forces, especially in the
provision of controls in border areas. For more than 10 years, the Italian Railway Police have
participated in the activities of the Railpol network composed of 15 European Countries’
Police Forces. The exchange of information between the police forces or with the managing
bodies of the roads beyond the Alps always takes place in cases of urgency and for managing
critical road events, which divert traffic currents on longer routes".

Signs to understand how road and rail users will behave in the "hot" months?
"The recovery in road traffic has already shown an increase in accidents, even serious ones.
It should also be borne in mind that the provisions for the containment of contagion, which
concern public transport, are geared towards private transport. It is not to be excluded,
however, since tourism this year will be essentially "domestic", with greater use of the train".

How are you preparing to manage the summer flows?
"The activity of controlling driving behaviour will be the responsibilty of the Polstrada,
especially the psycho-physical conditions of the drivers, the technical conditions of the
vehicles and their insurance coverage. In the coming weeks, Polfer will put in place any
additional energy for the prevention activity".

Road and rail offences. Are they increasing at this stage?
"With the resumption of traffic, campaigns will be relaunched to inform drivers of the
dangers of reckless driving and call on them to get on the road in optimal physical condition.
In the rail sector, travel restrictions have had an impact, with a decline in offences. Theft in
stations and on trains fell by 94% compared to 2019. After the lockdown, with the increase
in passengers, there was only a slight increase in crime. Every day, especially in this delicate
phase, stations are manned with a strengthening of all services and an increase in station

Advice for those travelling by train?
For the summer, extraordinary prevention services will be provided. Video-surveillance is an
essential innovation to discourage malicious people. The advice is always valid: pay attention
to your luggage, especially during stops, do not leave valuables unattended on board, pay
attention to those who approach with stratagems, for example in front of ticket machines".

What is your activities’ assessment of the State Police Specialty during the months of
the Covid 19 emergency?

"The entire Public Security Administration has training and education that makes it flexible
in operational responses. The succession of events and the progressive massive need to "stop"
without interrupting the essential services and the supply of food and medicines, have not
found any pre-packaged operating manual. However, they have not overwhelmed an
organization that - day after day - has wondered how and where to modify the procedures
activated and the practices established, as well as to protect its own personnel and the
continuity of the security services".


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