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Classification of vehicles

Nowadays, prohibitions imposed by the Governments for the safeguard of the environment are definitely more frequent since the limitation of the pollution is an hot issue and traffic is considered as  one of the main problems. According to the Art. 7  c. 1 l.b) of the Highway Code “the circulation of every or a few categories of vehicles may be restricted in order to limit the pollution upon justified requirements“. According to art. 6 and 7, even the “categories of users” may be limited. There are also specific national and EU legislations where these measures are suggested in case of “environmental threat”.

In these cases the proper categories are chosen and listed with the correct acronym according to the European lagislation. Those, who are not familiar with this law, may do not understand immediatly the category and if their vehicle is admitted or not. These are two Italian words that may confuse people: if the “autoveicoli” are excluded it means that “cars, buses, lorries, articulated buses, tractor etc” may not move around, whereas if you read “autovetture” it means that only cars may not move around.

This section has been created in order to summarize and clarify those information extracted from the Highway Code.

Definition of the word “vehicle”

Highway Code, Art. 46.- According to this code, vehicles are defined as every machine circulating on streets and driven by people. Although they are equipped with an enginevehicles used for children or disabled people (whose characteristics do not exceed the limits set by this regulation) are not included in the definition.  

Vehicles are divided by their “Classification” and “International Category”.

CLASSIFICATION OF VEHICLES

“Veicoli a braccia” Used with arms vehicles

Art. 48: – They are those which are:

  1. pushed or pulled by men walking;
  2. propelled by muscular strength of the same driver.

Animal drawn vehicles

Art. 49 – Animal drawn vehicles are vehicles towed by one or more animals and are divided into:

  1. vehicles designed primarily to carry people;
  2. vehicles designed primarily to carry goods;
  3. farm wagons destined for the exclusive use of farms.

Animal drawn vehicles fitted with skids are called sleds.

Velocipede

Art. 50 – The bicycles are vehicles with two or more wheels propelled completely by means of muscular functional pedals or similar devices, driven by people that are on the vehicle. They are also considered electric pedal bicycles, cycles fitted with an auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power of 0.25 Kw whose power is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches a speed of 25 Km/h, or sooner if the cyclist stops pedalling.

The cycles may not exceed 1.30 m wide, 3 m in length and 2.20 m high.

Sleds

Art. 51 – The circulation of vehicles fitted with sledges, skates or animal traction, is allowed only when streets are covered with a layer of ice or snow thick enough to avoid damages at the road surface, otherwise you will be subjected to an administrative penalty.

Moped

Art. 52

  1. Mopeds are two or three-wheel motor vehicles with the following characteristics:
    1. engine with a cylinder capacity not exceeding 50 cc, if thermal;
    2. ability to develop horizontal road speeds of up to 45 km/h;
  2. Three-wheel mopeds can, by definition, be used for the carriage of goods. The size is established fulfilling the Community directives on the subject, by Decree of the Minister of transport, or, alternatively, in pursuance of the corresponding technical requirements contained in the recommendations or guidelines issued by the European United NationsEconomic Commission for Europe, adopted by the Ministry of transport, where this does not preclude the Community law.
  3. Vehicle characteristics referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 refers to the construction. The criteria for determining the characteristics mentioned above and how to control them are defined in the guidelines, as well as the technical requirements in order to avoid the easy tampering of the organs of propulsion.
  4. These vehicles, if they exceed the limit set for any of the properties listed in paragraphs 1 and 2, are considered motorcycles.

Motorcycles

Art. 53

  1. Motor vehicles are motor vehicles, with two, three or four wheels, and are divided into:
    1. motorcycles: two-wheeled vehicles used for the carriage of people, not exceeding two including the driver;
    2. sidecars: three-wheeled vehicles used for the carriage of people, able to contain up to four seats including the driver’s seat and equipped with suitable car body;
    3. motor vehicles for transporting goods and passengers: three-wheeled vehicles used for the carriage of people and goods, able to contain up to four seats including the driver’s seat;
    4. “motocarri”: three-wheeled vehicles used for the carriage of things;
    5. “mototrattori”: three-wheeled motor vehicles intended to tow semi-trailers. This classification must be combined with that of “motoarticolato”, with the definition of the type or types of trailers referred to in paragraph 2, that can be matched to each “mototrattore”;
    6. motor vehicles for specific transport: three-wheeled vehicles used for the carriage of certain things or people under certain conditions and characterized by having permanently special equipment;
    7. motor vehicles for special purpose : three-wheeled vehicles characterised by special equipment installed permanently on them; on these vehicles is allowed the transport of personnel and materials associated with the operating cycle of the equipment;
    8. quadricycles: four-wheeled vehicles used for the carriage of things with at most one person further to the driver in the cockpit, to specific transport and special purpose, with an unladen mass does not exceed 0.55 t, excluding the mass of the batteries if electrically powered, capable of developing on a horizontal road speeds up to80 km/h. The constructive characteristics are laid down in regulation. These vehicles,if they exceed just one of these limits are considered motor vehicles.
  2. motoarticolati” are also considered: combinations of vehicles consisting of a “mototrattore” and a trailer used for the carriage reported at the letters d), f) and g).
  3. The regulation lists also the types of vehicles to be registered as motor vehicles for specific transport and vehicles for special use.
  4. Motorcycles cannot exceed 1.60 m wide, 4.00 m long and 2.50 m high. The total mass of a fully loaded motor vehicle may not exceed 2.5 t.
  5. “motoarticolati” can reach a maximum length of 5 m.
  6. The vehicles referred to in points d) e), f) and g) can be equipped with a number of seats, for interested people, not more than two, including the driver’s seat.

Motor vehicles:

Art. 54

  1. Motor vehicles are motor vehicles with at least four wheels, excluding motorcycles,and are divided into:
    1. cars: vehicles used for the carriage of passengers, not more than nine seats including the driver’s seat;
    2. bus: vehicles used for the transport of persons, equipped with more than nine seatsincluding the driver’s seat;
    3. vehicle for goods and passengers: vehicles with a total mass not exceeding 3.5 t loading or electric-powered or battery 4.5 t and not more than nine seats including the driver’s seat;
    4. trucks: vehicles used for the carriage of things and persons involved in the use or transportation of things;
    5. tractor trailer: vehicles  to exclusively tow trailers or semi-trailers;
    6. motor vehicles for specific transport: equipped vehicles used for the carriage of certain things or people under certain conditions;
    7. Special purpose vehicles: vehicles with permanent equipment, for the transportation of personnel and materials connected with the operative tasks;
    8. articulated lorry: combinations of vehicles consist of two separate units, connected to each other, the first one is a traction power. According to Art. 61, paragraphs 1 and 2, trucks equipped with permanent and special equipment for the carriage of goods are considered a single unit. However, if the maximum size is exceeded, according to art. 61, the vehicle is considered exceptional;
    9. lorries: combinations of vehicles consisting of a tractor and a semi-trailer;
    10. articulated vehicles: two rigid sections connected to each other by an articulated one. On these types of vehicles travellers areas are adjoining. Connection and disjunction of the two articulated sections may only be carried out in the workshop;
    11. motor caravan: vehicles with a  permanently equipped car body, used to transport and house max. seven people (driver included);
    12. trucks used in construction sites: vehicles or combinations of vehicles with special equipment for the loading and transportation of waste materials or construction activities, roads, mining and excavation assimilated materials which complete the production of specific materials. Such vehicles or combinations of vehicles can be used for truckloads over the limits set out in art. 62 but up to those referred in the art. 10, paragraph 8, and in respect of the dimensional limits of art. 61. The means of work must also be suitable for the specific use on construction sites or used in mixed use on and off the road.
  2. Vehicles that must be registered as specific transport vehicles or special purpose vehicles are listed according to the special equipment they have.

“Filoveicoli”

Art. 55

  1. They are electric vehicles which are connected to an overhead contact line for power source; it may have an electric engine on board and an auxiliary source of electricity.
  2. They can be divided according to their characteristics, in the categories provided by the art. 54 related to motor vehicles.

Trailers

Art. 56

  1. Except for paragraph 1, .e and paragraph 2 of art. 53, trailers are considered vehicles towed by vehicles described in paragraph 1 of art. 54 and “filoveicoli” at art. 55, with the exception of articulated buses.
  2. Trailers are divided into:
    1. trailers for people transportation, limited to trailers with at least two axles and semi- trailers;
    2. trailers for the transportation of things;
    3. specific transport trailers, according to l. f) Art. 54;
    4. Special purpose trailers, according to l. g) and h) Art. 54;
    5. caravan: two-axle or single axle trailers (distance not higher than 1 meter), equipped with a special car body and used as accommodation only when the vehicle is stationary.
    6. trailers for tourist and sport facilities: two-axle or single axle trailers (distance not higher than 1 meter), equipped with specific equipment suitable for tourism and sports: such as boats, gliders or others.
  3. Trailers are vehicles constructed in such a way that a part of them overlap the engine and that a substantial part of their mass or its load is borned by the motor unit.
  4. The car trailer with two wheels used for the carriage of luggage, tools and alike, except for those listed under art. 54, paragraph 1 and in l.h), s) and l) which are considered parts of these as long as falling within the guidelines of articles 61 and 62 of the regulation.

Farming vehicles

Art. 57

  1. Agricultural vehicles, even defined as caterpillar track, are vehicles used for agricultural and forestry activities and may, they may move around to carry agricultural products, equipment and substances of agricultural use as well as workers, on behalf of agricultural and forestry companies,  
  2. For the purposes of circulation, agriculture vehicles are divided into:
    1. “semoventi” self-propelled:
      • agricultural trucks: power-driven wehicles with or without cargo level with at least two axles, used mainly for traction in order to tow, push and carry agricultural products or substances and activate certain tools. They may be equipped with special tools considered as an integral part of the truck;
      • agricultural trucks with two or more axlesfitted to be equipped (or already equipped) with special tools for agricultural operations;
      • agricultural trucks: they may be equipped with a separable carriage  for the driver onlyThe total mass must not exceed 0.7 t including the driver;
    2. “trainate” pulled:
      • agricultural trucks: used for agricultural tasks and to carry equipment and functional accessories. 
      • agricultural trucks used for agricultural tasks and to carry equipment and functional accessories, self-propelled trucks with the exception of those referred to in point a), number 3);
  3. For the purposes of circulation, self-propelled vehicles or equivalent system should not exceed the speed of 40 km/h. Vehicles which have metal wheels, are Caterpillars, have axis for the driver or alike, should not exceed the speed of 15 km/h.
  4. Agricultural vehicles, mentioned in the letters a), numbers 1 and 2), b), number 1), can be equipped with no more than three seats, including the driver’s one. Trailers can be used for the exclusive transport of employees, which are equipped with suitable not permanent equipment.

Self-propelled vehicles

Art. 58

  1. These vehicles are: self-propelled or caterpillar track, used in building sites and equipped with special tools. They can be driven on streets and used to carry materials for the production cycle from one construction site to the others according to the existing regulation.
  2. They are divided into:
    1. machines used for the construction and maintenance of road infrastructure or civil works or for the reinstatement of the traffic;
    2. snow machines, such as sand or snowplough or alike;
    3. Carts: vehicles used to handling things.
  3. caterpillar tracks may not be equipped with more than 3 seats, driver included.
  4. self-propelled vehicles may not exceed the speed of 40 km/h; caterpillar tracks may not exceed the speed of 15 km/h.

Uncharacteristic vehicles: 

  1. Different types of electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles or others whose specific characteristics are not included in the articles 52 to 58.
  2. The Ministry of Transport, as mutually agreed with the other ministers, declared with a Decree as follow:
    1. the categories, among those set out in those articles (52-58), where the atypical vehicles are included for the purpose of mobility and driving;
    2. the technical requirements with equal criterias, in order to be roadworthy, related to the categories above.  

Motorcycles, vintage, historic and collector’s items Vehicles

  1. These types of vehicles (vintage, historic and collector’s items vehicles) are considered atypical.
  2. Vehicles which are no longer registered at P.R.A. register are classified as historic, since they will be located in museums, private or public buildings in order to preserve their features.
  3. Vehicles included in the art. 5, c.34 of Decree Law 12/30/1982, n. 953 converted into the Law 02/28/1983 n.53 are considered as historic and collector’s items. In order to be roadworthy, those who are not included in the P.R.A. register must be registered again. In order to be registered again their feautures have to satisfy the requirements of the regulation .
  4. In order to be registered again their feautures have to satisfy the requirements of the regulation, keeping their historic value untouched but modified according to the present regulation. They are included in the M.C.T.C. register.
  5. Vintage, historic and collector’s items vehicles must satisfy the requirements foreseen at c.4 in order to be roadworthy.
  6. Whoever moves around with historic vehicles without authorization of c.3, is subjected to a penalty of […]

INTERNATIONAL CATEGORIES:

Categoria L: Motorcycles and Mopeds

Categoria L1: two-wheeled vehicles whose engine displacement (if heat engine) does not exceed 50 cc and whose maximum speed (whatever the propulsion system is) does not exceed 50 km/h.

Categoria L2: three-wheeled vehicles whose engine displacement (if heat engine) does not exceed 50 cc and whose maximum speed (whatever the propulsion system is) does not exceed 50 km/h..

Categoria L3: two-wheeled vehicles whose engine displacement (if heat engine) does not exceed 50 cc and whose maximum speed (whatever the propulsion system) does not exceed 50 km/h.

Categoria L4: asymmetrical three-wheel vehicles, the displacement of the engine (if heat engine) exceeds 50 cc or whose maximum speed (whatever the propulsion system) exceeds 50 km/h (motorcycles with sidecars alongside).

Categoria L5: asymmetrical three-wheel vehicles, the displacement of the engine (if heat engine) exceeds 50 cc or whose maximum speed (whatever the propulsion system) exceeds 50 km/h (motorcycles with sidecars alongside).

Categoria M: four-wheel vehicles used for people transport

Categoria M1: vehicles used for the carriage of passengers, equipped with max. 8 seats in addition to the driver’s one.

Categoria M2: vehicles used for the carriage of passengers, equipped with max. 8 seats in addition to the driver’s one, which a max. mass of 5 t.

Categoria M3: vehicles used for the carriage of passengers, equipped with max. 8 seats in addition to the driver’s one, which a max. mass higher than 5 t.

Categoria N: four-wheel vehicles used for goods transport

Categoria N1: vehicles used for the transportation of goods, with a max. mass of 3,5 t.

Categoria N2: vehicles used for the transportation of goods, with a mass between 3,5 and 12 t.

Categoria N3: vehicles used for the transportation of goods, with a mass higher than 12 t.

Categoria O: trailers (semi-trailers included)

Categoria O1: trailers with max. mass of 0,75 t.

Categoria O2: trailers with a mass between 0,75 and 3,5 t.

Categoria O3: trailers with a mass between 3,5 and 10 t.

Categoria O4: trailers with a max. mass higher than 10 t.

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