Zurich Process


The main risk in tunnels is that of an HGV catching fire. The tragedy of the Mont Blanc tunnel is a cruel reminder that the smoke resulting from fires is far more dangerous than the flames.

When travelling through a tunnel you should always:

  • Switch on your dipped headlights.
  • Listen to FM radio (107.7 in France, 103.3 in Italy).
  • Keep a safe distance from the car in front of you.
  • Stick to the speed limit.

In the event of an incident:

  • Leave your vehicle and move to the emergency exits.
  • These safety rules apply in tunnels at all times. In an emergency it is essential to comply with them.

On 15 July 2009 the speed limit on the A8 motorway in the Alpes-Maritimes department was lowered to 110km/h.

This measure applies to the entire stretch of the A8 motorway in Alpes-Maritimes, from the Var department to the Italian border, and was taken to reduce environmental impacts and improve safety.

The speed limit for light vehicles is 110 km/h, and reduced to 90 km/h along some stretches.


There are no emergency lanes, and regrettably it is unable to change this situation. However, there are numerous rest and parking areas. In some of the service areas restrictions apply on exceptional transits and/or HGVs travelling on the non-motorway road network.

Traffic is managed primarily by employees stationed along the different stretches of the motorway, and by patrols of auxiliary staff present along the motorway 24 hours a day. Information on traffic and road conditions are centralized in an operations control centre manned 24 hours a day, which registers the data before distributing it to the relevant professional services and, in the event of incidents or disruptions, requests assistance from company staff and/or third parties, as appropriate.

On the Internet site www.autostradadeifiori.it (see table “Bacheca”) a calendar offers information on detours and traffic forecasts for weekends during which heavy traffic is expected.

Managing emergencies


When the operations control centre receives an emergency call from an SOS call box or by any other means, it forwards it to a 24/7 service run by specialized rescue operators (currently the ACI (Servizio Soccorso Stradale) and Europ Assistance VAI). To ensure that help arrives quickly, the company managing the motorway is responsible for maintaining two breakdown service centres near the toll booths at Finale Ligure and Bordighera, a stretch of road comprising several tunnels and long viaducts.


As soon as the operations control centre has been informed of an accident it contacts the 118 emergency services, which are in charge of dispatching an ambulance and, if necessary, a rescue helicopter. To facilitate helicopter rescue operations, Autostrada dei Fiori has set up helicopter landing areas near the junctions at Bordighera, Imperia Est and San Bartolomeo, where there is sufficient space available.


Once the operations control centre has received an emergency call, it dials 115 to contact the fire services, which will be in charge of the operation.