Speed Limits In Australia

Speeding is one of the most dangerous driving offences contributing towards 40% of road fatalities per year. But the definition of speeding might not be clear at first. Speeding simply means exceeding the speed limit.
The biggest misconception of a speed limit is that they’re recommended speeds for driving when in fact they are the maximum legal and safe speed to drive at.
The following is a table of the different speed limits of every state:

State/Territory School Zone Built-Up Area Rural Area Highest Speed Zone
Australian Capital Territory 40 50 100 100
New South Wales 40 50 100 110
Northern Territory 40 60 110 130
Queensland 40, 60 or 80 50 100 110
South Australia 25 50 100 110
Tasmania 40 or 60 50 100 110
Victoria 40 or 60 50 100 110
Western Australia 40 or 60 50 110 110

 
Speed limits are different depending on numerous factors including pedestrian activity, traffic controls and hazards.
You might be also questioning that if safety was such a priority, why wouldn’t the speed limits be even lower?
The answer to that is that it would create too much traffic. Hence, the roads are created to find an optimal trade-off between safety and amount of traffic.
 

Understanding Stopping Distances

Something extremely important to know are the different stopping distances for the different speeds.
 

km/h m/sec REACTION DISTANCE BRAKING DISTANCE STOPPING DISTANCE
40 11.1 17 m 8 m 25 m
50 13.9 21 m 13 m 34 m
60 16.7 25 m 18 m 43 m
70 19.4 29 m 25 m 54 m
80 22.2 33 m 32 m 65 m
90 25.0 38 m 40 m 78 m
100 27.8 42 m 49 m 91 m
110 30.6 46 m 60 m 106 m

 
Although through driving you’ll come to understand intuitively when to stop, it might be of interest to you to understand the numbers behind when to stop as there are different stopping distances for different speeds.
As a general rule, you need to keep a minimum of 3 seconds away from vehicles around you.
 

What The Speed Limits Mean

40 km/h

These zones are typically high traffic areas where chances of collisions are higher due to the large amount of activity such as pedestrians. The most common area with this speed limit will be school zones due to the many children present. Bus stops and areas with road work are two other areas with this speed limit.
It’s wise to be wary of hazards in this area due to the high amount of activity.
 

50 km/h

50 km/h is the most common speed limit as it’s the default speed limit in built-up areas of every single state in Australia except Northern Territory. It’s the speed limit you have to follow if there are no speed limit signs.
While these areas are characterised with less activity than 40 km/h areas, there’s still a great need to be careful due to frequent encounters with pedestrians.
Many areas with this speed limit are suburban areas with homes.
This is an important speed to know for learner drivers as you’ll likely be taken to areas without speed limit signs and be expected to drive safely at 50 km/h.
 

80 km/h

This speed zone is also extremely common as it’s found in urban areas on divided roads without driveway access, undivided arterial roads on the fringes of urban areas and lower quality rural roads.
Despite a lower amount of hazards, it’s vital to be careful in these areas as they can be typically populated with many other vehicles also driving at this speed.
 

100 km/h

This is the default speed limit in all non-built-up areas for all states other than Western Australia — where the default speed limit is 110km /h. This speed limit applies to most rural roads but the most common place you’ll find it are on urban motorways.
Although there are a lower amount of hazards and activity in these areas, it’s still wise to be careful as you’ll likely encounter other cars driving at the same speed and collisions will be more heavily damaging.
The stopping distance at 100km/h is over 90 metres meaning you should leave adequate distance between other vehicles if driving on these roads.
 

110 km/h

This is the highest speed limit in every state other than Northern Territory  and Australian Capital Territory. These zones are only found in high quality rural divided roads and non-urban motorways.
Similarly to 100 km/h zones, there are low amount of hazards and especially a low amount of curves on the road. This means that it’s much clearer what the hazards are if there are any and you’ll likely be able to see most other cars.
Despite this, understanding adequate stopping distances at this speed is essential as higher speeds mean a greater risk of injury in crashes.
 
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Why You Should Get Your Learners Licence When You’re 16

flipped girl
If you reside in Melbourne or anywhere else in Victoria then you’re able to get your Learners licence when you’re 16. But you’re only able to take the driving test and receive your P1 licence when you’re 18 with the minimum requirement of holding the Learners licence for a year.
It might seem intuitive to get your Learners licence then when you’re 17 since you only need to be driving for one year to get your P1 licence.
But there are a few reasons to get your Learners licence as soon as possible.

You Have More Time To Drive

The first is that you need 120 driving hours and in Victoria, there are no bonuses for using a driving instructor. With other priorities like doing well in school or simply wanting to spend as much time with your friends as possible, it might be hard to find the time to drive.
Having an extra year to do these hours provide you with a lowered urgency to complete the hours whilst also providing you with more time for your subconscious to digest and understand safe driving habits intuitively.
If you’re a student in high school, you’ve probably experienced the difficult endeavour of last-minute cramming on an exam and found that even if you remembered enough to take the test, it was difficult to understand the course content long term.
This is because repeated instances of an event over a longer period of time become more ingrained in our memory.

It Teaches You How To Take Responsibility

Another reason is that it provides you with independence and a sense of responsibility.
For most of us, up until the point where we drive we haven’t really had any responsibilities that seriously impacted other people. We’ve been taken care of by our parents our entire lives and didn’t have to do things that could potentially be dangerous.
When you start driving, you’re responsible for not just your own life, but everyone in your car and every person in every other car that you can potentially come into contact with.
You not only have to make sure that you follow all the road rules, but you have to make sure that you’re in general a safe driver on the road so that you don’t hurt anyone or your car.

There’s A Lot To Learn From Driving

Another reason is that there’s simply a lot to learn from driving. Like picking up any skill, you’ll struggle when you start (unless you’re a natural!) but you’ll slowly get better over time. You’ll notice that as you learn more, you’ll stop thinking about certain maneuvers and perform them automatically.
And you’ll learn that this applies to any skill. Whether it’s playing the guitar and intuitively playing songs rather than thinking about what chord you need to do next or studying math where times tables were so difficult as a child but now they’re automatic.
Whilst a large part of your high school life is plagued (or blessed) with a rebellion against authorities like your parents and teachers, you also learn that rules are there for a reason
And while some rules in school are misinformed and imperfect, a road without rules would be total chaos and sometimes it’s important to conform.
Of course, there are many other reasons to get your licence at 16. But these are a few notable ones that we thought were important.

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Why Does Melbourne Have Hook Turns?

While hook turns are a unique maneuver and may seem confusing at first, they serve a crucial role in providing trams with an efficient pathway which improves the efficiency of Melbourne roads.
 

But Why Does Anyone Need To Learn It?

It’s required to learn the hook turn because not only is it illegal to perform a hook turn incorrectly, but it will provide you with the confidence in applying it when required.
Not complying with the hook turn signs may potentially result in a $117 penalty.
 

Basics Of The Hook Turn

Hook turns are a maneuver that exists in Melbourne. The basic premise of the hook turn is that you use the left lane to turn right. But it’s a little more complicated than that.
Before explaining any maneuver, it’s important to understand why the maneuver is needed in the first place.
The main idea of the hook turn is to provide cars and tram lines who want to move forward with space without being delayed by cars trying to turn right.
Which is why tram lines are on a road with a hook turn in the first place. In the central city, cars are generally not allowed to travel on tram lanes so lanes created for the purpose of turning right were not created.
If drivers did a normal right turn they would have to do one of two things:

  • Turn across tram tracks — which is unsafe because there might be trams moving across you on the right.
  • Merge onto tram tracks and wait for a gap in oncoming traffic — which would greatly delay trams.

 

How To Perform A Hook Turn

To know when it is required to do a hook turn, look for the clear sign.
Hook_Turn_Sign_Melbourne
Although there are multiple steps to the hook turn, it’s essential that you understand how to perform it safely and effectively. It works as follows:

  • Move to the left lane and indicate right.
  • Enter the intersection and move to the far left (not just slightly to the left since you need to make sure cars have space to move forward)
  • Stop where you want to turn right without stopping on a foot crossing.
  • Keep an eye on the traffic lights to your right (the road you want to enter not the road you’re currently on).
  • When the traffic light turns green, turn right.

 

It’s Confusing For Others Too

If you’re a little intimidated, don’t fret. Hook turns are probably one of the most confusing maneuvers. But over time, you’ll get used to it and be able to conquer hook turns like any other maneuver you practice.
A fun fact about the hook turn is that when Mercedes-Benz arrived in Melbourne to test their autonomous cars, the hook turn proved to be the most difficult turn to master — probably due to its multi-stepped nature.
Despite having multitudes of experience over the world, team leader Jochen Haab admitted to the uniqueness of the hook turn.
If you need lessons on hook turns, LTrent provides special lessons dedicated to instilling safe hook turn habits into your driving agenda.
 
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If you have any questions, please feel free to talk to us on 1300 717 115.
 
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When Should I Start Taking Driving Lessons?

pexels-photo-787476
To understand when you should take driving lessons, it’s helpful to understand the purpose of driving lessons in the first place. Driving lessons, like all forms of teaching are a way of imparting one person’s set of skills onto another.
Hence, driving lessons will improve your driving at any time you believe that you could use another driver’s perspective on the road and pick their brain. After all, driving instructors are professionals at delivering their knowledge and habits onto their students.

Beginners Are A Clean Slate

That being said, driving instructors are extremely effective when you’re a beginner at driving especially if you haven’t started yet. This is because you’re a blank slate. After all, it’s easier to create new habits than to change existing ones.
Similarly, changing to healthy eating and exercising habits are so difficult for most of us whilst others who were instilled with healthy habits from birth find it effortless — it’s better to start off with safe driving habits right from the beginning of your driving career.
However, most learner drivers don’t have engrained habits. It takes hours upon hours of practice for a habit to become automatic and effortless — similar to how you wake up in the morning and instantly go to brush your teeth.
This makes all learners extremely optimal for driving lessons as they’ll be able to begin with safe driving habits. If a learner’s parents have already taught them habits they want to correct, then it should be a lot easier for them over someone who has been driving for a longer time.

Anyone Can Improve Their Driving

Despite driving instructors being greatly beneficial for beginners, if you find in any point of your driving career — whether you’re on your learner’s licence or your full licence, there may be certain maneuvers or habits that haven’t been fleshed out, using a driving instructor to overcome this is extremely effective.
After all, all drivers have weaknesses and if you want to be a safe driver on the road or to simply become a better driver, it’s important to create safe habits.

Faster Logbook Hours

Driving lessons should especially be used for learners who haven’t driven with an instructor before. In order to take the driving test, every learner driver is required to do 120 hours of driving.
But with the use of driving lessons, you’re able to get 3 logbook hours for every hour that you drive — capping at 30 logbook hours.
This is a way of using driving lessons purely for time utility as it’ll save you 20 logbook hours that you have to do. If you decide to use LTrent’s instructors, you’ll be guaranteed to get an instructor dedicated to turning you into the best driver possible.
LTrent’s students have a 28% higher chance of passing the driving test, who already have a higher chance of passing than parents. And this is not just because they’ve memorised the road rules and are acting accordingly but they’re driving safer and rewarded for it.

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