Yet Another SS51 Landslide – Pegasus Police

The SS51 Alemagna State Road in the High Dolomites is a fine drive but, after a spate of major landslides, is probably best avoided during and after heavy rain.

Also, watch out for the bright blue and yellow police ‘Pegasus’ helicopters in Spain. Insurance policies do not generally cover collisions with animals in Iceland, as one tourist finds to his cost. Moves to relax the law on dashcams in Luxembourg as a UK traffic officer goes into the pros and cons of personal video cameras.



Three die in third landslide around scenic SS51 Alemagna State Road in north east Italy.

Another major landslide in the High Dolomites, this time claiming three lives. More later.

Landslide above San Vito di Cadore. Photo Vigili del Fuoco Belluno

The ‘water bomb’ which hit the tiny Dolomites town of San Vito di Cadore late on Tuesday night, killing three, was the third major landslide in the area in the past six weeks.

All three victims, believed to be tourists, including a 14 year old girl, are so far unnamed but are said to be from the Czech Republic.

The three were in a car park on the lower slope of Mount Antelao to the east of the town. A ‘huge mass of earth, mud and rock’ hit, apparently without waning.

‘Violent’ torrential rain had fallen in the region earlier in the day though no warnings were issued by national or European ‘meteoalarm’ services.

‘Not even science could forecast something like this,’ local mayor Roberto Del Bon told ANSA News Agency.

On this occasion SS51 Alemagna State Road was not directly in the firing line though several lesser landslides did make it that far and it was shut for an hour as a precaution.

However, SS51 – the main access road from the south to Cortina d’Ampezzo, and many major mountain passes – was hit both in late June and early July by two other landslides, in similar circumstances.

There were no injuries on the first occasion but during the second a driver was forced to climb a nearby tree to escape.

All three landslides were along the same stretch, between Cortina and San Vito.

The Italian government said today a fund of €1.3bn was available to fix so-called ‘hydrological instability’.

Widespread illegal building, which has eroded natural defences against flash flooding, and the unique geography make the area especially vulnerable.

However, earth works carried out after a catastrophic landslide in July 2009, in which two people died, are said to have saved the town from much worse this time around.

Read more about driving on SS51 Alemagna State Road.


A Panamera driver was picked up by the Spanish police Pegasus helicopter near Toledo on Tuesday at a top speed of 218kmh (135mph).

A Porsche Panamera driver was picked up by the Spanish police ‘Pegasus’ helicopter near Toledo on Tuesday at a top average speed of 218kmh (135mph). Drivers are warned about the presence of airborne speed controls on motorway overhead gantries. Since they were introduced in 2013, the bright blue and yellow helicopters have nicked 8,644 drivers says DGTes. Eight out of the twelve currently in service are equipped with radar.


roundup: ICELAND. A German long-stay tourist was hit with a €2000 bill after hitting a sheep in western Iceland on Monday reports Iceland Magazine. The sheep was killed and the car badly damaged on the R1 ring road down from Holtavörðuheiði heath into Norðurárdalur valley. The issue was that damage caused by animals was not covered by his rental car insurance policy, and that is not untypical apparently. LUXEMBOURG. The controversial use of dashcams in the Grand Duchy is the subject of a new petition reports Owning a dashcam is not illegal but using it on the road, and filming pedestrians and other motorists, is a breach of privacy and data protection laws. The Justice Minister clarified in 2014 that there were no exceptions. The petitioner wants the rules relaxed so footage can be used in the event of accidents though he has only managed to gather 95 signatures so far. Austria has similar rules on dashcams (see more on dashcam rules around Europe). Meanwhile, a traffic officer from West Midlands Police published an interesting blog today on the pros and cons of personal video cameras. To sum up: submitting footage opens the owner up to scrutiny of their own driving habits; the self-reporting process is bureaucratic, long-winded and likely to end in a court case; and, those who use dashcams can hardly complain of living in a surveillance society.


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