Eighty-year-old Mario, nicknamed “Nonno Sprint” (Grandpa Sprint), traveled in his Fiat Punto on Italian highways for two years without paying a single euro, reports The Guardian. He argued that the fees were too high and not worth using to pay for poor services, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.
The man, who lives in a retirement home in Fiuggi, Lazio, used the tactic of passing himself off as a prepaid toll driver on and off the motorways. He was eventually caught when highways company Autostrade staff were able to identify the Fiat Punto and trace its owner after piecing together security camera footage at each of the gates he passed through.
The company discovered that Mario went to Rome and Naples, among other places, on his travels. He is threatened with going to court on fraud charges if he does not pay the €4,000 owed, but he refuses to do so.
“I won’t pay. The highway is a public service, they cannot collect tolls. Despite the fact that the rates are too high for the service offered,” Mario told his lawyer, according to Corriere della Sera.
Mario also reportedly told his lawyer that he drives at night because of boredom at the retirement home. “The other residents went to bed at a certain hour, and what was I supposed to do? I couldn’t stay inside all day.” Traveling has always been his passion. “It opens my heart. I like going to new places and will continue to do so as long as I can,” he added.
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