No Side Mirrors

Would you drive with no side mirrors? If you were driving in Naples, you would probably consider it.

A couple of weeks ago, a colleague from work picked me up from the airport in Naples with his car. I noticed that his side mirrors were closed. Assuming he forgot to open them up, I rolled down my window and opened the one on my side. He asked me to close it and said there were two reasons for him driving like this.

First, many scooter drivers (mostly teenagers) like to kick side mirrors while driving, just for fun.

Second, and more important. While crawling in traffic once, a car bumped into his side mirror while he was looking away. A couple with a baby got out and started shouting at him for bumping into them and smashing their side mirror. He assumed he was in the wrong, and offered to exchange insurance details but the couple insisted they were from out of town and that it would complicate matters. They settled on a couple of hundred of Euros, cash, which my colleague paid them just to end the story.

Afterwards, he was told this was a popular scam in Naples. A way for people to get easy money from innocent drivers. In fact, this has happened to him a second time, but he refused to pay and said he would call the police to file an accident report. The couple quickly got back to their car and sped away.

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