There’s a new 60 km/h speed limit in Italy’s Dolomite mountains, just approved by the Trentino government—and in some areas, it only applies to motorcyclists.
European magazines and newspapers were full of the news over the weekend, as it applies to roads in a popular tourism region. Riders from all over the continent travel to Trentino for the area’s fine roads, but it seems locals are unhappy with their behaviour. On July 24, the regional government restricted all vehicles to 60 km/h on a series of mountain roads, except in areas where the speed limit is 50 km/h or less. On at least two highways, the restriction only applies to motorcyclists. Even if the speed limit is 90 km/h for everyone else, bikes are now restricted to 60 km/h on those roads, unless the speed limit is already lower than that.
Motorrad magazine says State Road 85, State Road 25, State Road 3 and sections of State Road 240 all see the 60 km/h restrictions for all motorists, as well as several passes through the Dolomites (Sellajoch, Grödner Joch, Pordoi-Joch, Rolle-Pass). The motorcycle-only speed limits are in effect on State 42 at Tonale and Mendel passes, and State Road 31 at Manghen Pass.
The new speed limits are only in effect for the summer, but authorities are supposedly looking at making this a long-term decision. Of course, it’s supposedly all for the sake of safety, but the move comes as Europe sees the beginning of motorcycle-only crackdowns. Germany has been looking to outlaw aftermarket motorcycle exhausts, Paris has set up a new task force to fight loud vehicles (with an apparent emphasis on motorcycles) and in England, authorities are testing “noise camera” technology that was developed to fight loud pipes. Clearly, Europeans are unhappy with motorcyclists who are coloring outside the lines, so to speak. The question is, what’s next? And, if this attitude of restriction continues, where will riders go to blow off steam, if they aren’t given the usual hands-off approach through the Alps? Maybe, this will drive more Euro riders to off-road? We’ll see.