Speed Limits in Australia


In Australia, we have various speed limits depending on the type of road and level of pedestrian activity. The maximum legal speed a car can travel at is 130km/hour, which exists in a section of a highway in the Northern Territory.

Speed is the number one killer on Australian roads. Most drivers believe the speed limit is the recommended speed to drive, but in fact, the speed limit refers to the maximum speed a car can legally drive on that section of the road. Speeding not only increases the risk of the crash but also the severity of the outcome.

The car’s ability to stop varies on the speed they are travelling. Find below a table showing the time it takes for the car to stop – if the brakes have been used correctly – to come to a complete halt.

Speed

Total Braking Distance

50km/hour

41m

60km/hour

54m

80km/hour

85m

100km/hour

122m

Default speed limits in areas that don’t have a speed limit sign. In built-up areas, the default speed limit is 50km/hour and 100km/hour for all other roads. Below are varied speed limits which are important to know. 

10km/hour

This is indicated in a shared zone, where it is expected that pedestrians and cars will have to share the space. These are often found in car parks or driveways. In this scenario, the driver is expected to give way to the pedestrian.

40km/hour

This speed limit is associated with the school zone. There will be a ‘School zone’ sign and an ‘End school zone’ sign to indicate the area this speed limit applies to. It also is the speed cars need to travel at when roadwork is happening.

Advisory Speed Limits

Often before turning a corner, there will be a road sign that indicates the speed that will allow the driver to safely turn at the upcoming corner. These vary on the arc of the corner itself. Once the driver sees this sign, they should slow down to the indicated speed limit to prepare to go around the bend. Some roads can also have varied speed limits depending on the weather, for example, 100km/hour but 90km/hour when wet. 

Being aware of speed limits is crucial in practising safe driving. Changing our perception of what speed limits mean, can be one of the solutions to reducing the annual accident toll that currently exists. 

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