The Driver's Handbook

Speed Limits

Sign up to our eNewsletter

View our current eNews and get regular updates and safety tips.

 

50km speed limit sign

NOTE: If you are the holder of a learner's permit or a provisional licence, you may be limited as to the speed at which you are permitted to drive. Refer to the Drivers and Licensing section for information about special speed limits that apply to permit and some licence holders.

The speed limit that applies to a road or road-related area is the maximum speed you are allowed to drive a vehicle.

You should only drive to the speed limit if it is safe to do so. It may not be safe to drive to the speed limit in certain conditions, for example, due to poor weather or heavy traffic or the condition of the road. In these situations, you must slow down to a speed that is safe for the prevailing conditions.

How is the speed limit set?

Within South Australia (and in fact throughout Australia) the maximum default speed limit outside a built-up area is 100 km/h. The maximum default speed limit in a built-up area is 50 km/h. Unless a road sign or a licence condition indicates otherwise, these are the general maximum speeds at which you are allowed to drive. The circumstances under which these limits might be varied are set out below.

Speed limit signs

pedestrians crossing

The speed limit on a section of road may be varied from the above default speed limits by speed limit signs.

Higher speed limits

Outside a built-up area, some roads may have a speed limit of 110 km/h shown by speed limit signs. You may travel up to this higher speed provided your driving licence permits you and it is safe to do so. Learner and provisional drivers, for example, must not travel at this higher speed.

In built-up areas, some roads may have a higher speed limit (for example 60 km/h or 80 km/h) shown by speed limit signs.

Lower speed limits

Any road may have a speed limit lower than the default speed. This will be shown by a speed limit sign. This lower speed limit applies to the section of road marked by the signs, and you must not exceed this lower speed limit.

Some common examples of reduced speed limits are:children crossing signs

25km/h speed limits

  • Between school crossing (koala crossing) signs that state when lights flashing.
  • Between School Zone signs that state when children present. This applies when a child is in the zone, including outside of school hours, and whenever a child is on the road, footpath, median strip, or even on a bicycle.
  • A 'child' means a person less than 18 years of age, and includes a student of any age wearing a school uniform.
  • A School Zone is also marked with zig zag lines on the road where practicable, to show that you are approaching a School Zone.
  • You must not exceed 25 km/h when passing, in either direction, a school bus that has stopped for the purpose of setting down or picking up children.

40 km/h speed limits

  • Some built-up areas (for example residential areas) have a speed limit of 40 km/h indicated by signs on all roads leading into that area.
  • On the approach to wombat pedestrian crossings indicated by signs.

Remember:

diagram

25 km/h (or as indicated) when passing roadworks with signs displayed.

General safety speed limits

You must slow down to a safe speed and not exceed 25 km/h when passing an emergency services vehicle that is stationary and displaying red and/or blue flashing lights.

An emergency services vehicle includes:

  • ambulance
  • fire service vehicle
  • State Emergency Service vehicle
  • police.

Speed limits at a glance

Unless a sign shows a different speed limit

  L
Learner
P1, P2
Provisional
C (car), R (motorcycle)
Full licences
Built-up area 50 km/h 50 km/h 50 km/h
Outside Built-up area 100 km/h
(100 km/h is the absolute maximum speed for learner drivers)
100 km/h
(100 km/h is the absolute maximum speed for provisional drivers)
100 km/h
unless otherwise signed

Penalties for exceeding the speed limit*

Exceeding speed limit by less than 10 km/h expiation fee
demerit points
expiation fee
demerit points
expiation fee
demerit points
Exceeding speed limit by 10 km/h or more expiation fee
demerit points
disqualification
expiation fee
demerit points
disqualification
expiation fee
demerit points
Exceeding speed limit by 45 km/h or more expiation fee
demerit points
immediate loss of licence
disqualification
expiation fee
demerit points
immediate loss of licence
disqualification
expiation fee
demerit points
immediate loss of licence
disqualification

* For more information about expiation fees and demerit points visit The Penalties page.

44-46
Copyright 2014 | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact us      Page ID: 100375
Creative commons licence 3.0