Finally, after a long debate (January 2002), Italy is the first country in Europe that has changed it's maximum speed on their autostradas to 150 kph ! The lawmakers' reasoning has been that the previous 130 kph was too slow, and that drivers were not paying attention. They actually hope that the 150 kph will decrease the number of accidents .
There is however two caveats !! The new law is not automatically applied to all roads. It is up to the independent companies that manage the autoroutes to decide whether their portion of the road will have the new speed limit. And secondly, only those portions that have three lanes or more are allowed to post the new speed limits.
Talk about starting a massive confusion !