Italy will allow its regions to lower speed limits on highways and motorways passing through or near urban areas struggling with high air pollution, according to a government decree that took effect on Wednesday.
A new law that is part of the decree says speed limits may be reduced temporarily or permanently “in case there is a need to limit emissions from vehicular traffic in relation to levels of pollutants in the air”.
The current speed limit on Italian motorways is 130km/h, falling to 110km/h on main roads. Transport Minister Matteo Salvini had said last month he was considering raising the motorway limit to 150km/h.
The decree aims to reduce the number of European Union infringement proceedings against Italy. The EU commission has often taken legal action against Rome for breach of the bloc’s environmental rules.