June 2018 | LTrent

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/TerritorySchool ZoneBuilt-Up AreaRural AreaHighest Speed Zone
Australian Capital Territory4050100100
New South Wales4050100110
Northern Territory4060110130
Queensland40, 60 or 8050100110
South Australia2550100110
Tasmania40 or 6050100110
Victoria40 or 6050100110
Western Australia40 or 6050110110

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.

4011.117 m8 m25 m
5013.921 m13 m34 m
6016.725 m18 m43 m
7019.429 m25 m54 m
8022.233 m32 m65 m
9025.038 m40 m78 m
10027.842 m49 m91 m
11030.646 m60 m106 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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When Should I Start Taking Driving Lessons?

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.

*Only available in NSW

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