Just A Suggestion

STOPA friend getting a ticket for what he called a “rolling stop” recently remained me of a trip from Milan to Ivrea. My friend didn’t seem all that comforted by my story. Perhaps you’ll like it better.
During my business days, I had several occasions to visit Olivetti’s offices west of Milan in Ivrea. Aside from being dominated by less than attractive Olivetti facilities, Ivrea is a wonderful town in the foothills of the Alps with amazing traditions, hotels and restaurants.
I always enjoyed going to Ivrea. But getting there was somewhat of a harrowing experience. Typically, our company’s sales manager for Italy, whose office was in Milan, would pick me up at the airport and we would drive directly to Ivrea. And we would drive fast. Through small towns, along narrow roads, we would drive fast. The uninitiated might call our drive reckless. At frequent intervals, often in small towns, we would pass stop signs. Yes, we would pass them without stopping, generally without even slowing down. On one of my early trips, I asked Carlo, our sales manager,
“Aren’t you supposed to stop for those signs?”
“It’s just a suggestion,” he assured me.
Not being completely familiar with the driving culture in Italy, I figured he knew best.
But on one occasion, we did stop at such a sign. We stopped fast. We made a wheel skidding, brake squealing, emergency stop. While peeling the seatbelt off my shoulder and chest and taking a deep breath, I noticed the motorcycle Polizia di Stato officer at the intersection.
“Carlo,” I asked, “I thought it was only a suggestion.”
“In this case,” he said, “it was a very strong suggestion.”