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Speed limits

Speeding is the number one killer on NSW roads. Following these rules will help keep you, and others, safe on our roads.

The rules

Speed limits

On roads where there’s a speed limit sign, you must not drive faster than that speed limit.

On roads where there’s no speed limit sign, you must not drive faster than the default speed limit:

  • 50km/h in ‘built-up areas’ – areas with street lights and buildings next to the road less than 100m apart
  • 100 km/h for all other roads.

Licence restrictions

You must not drive faster than the maximum speed allowed by your driver licence, even when a speed limit sign is higher.

Driver licence Maximum speed
Learner 90km/h
Provisional P1 90km/h
Provisional P2 100km/h

Heavy vehicles over 4.5 tonnes (GVM).

This includes LR, MR, HR, HC, MC licence classes.

100km/h

Radar detectors and jammers

It’s illegal to have a radar detector or jammer in your vehicle.

A radar detector or jammer is anything that detects, interferes with or reduces the effectiveness of speed-measuring devices.

Penalties

Penalties for speeding include:

  • fines
  • demerit points (including double demerit points)
  • loss of licence
  • taking away your vehicle or number plates.

The penalty increases the more you’re over the speed limit, and if you speed in school zones.

Learner and provisional P1 drivers will go over their demerit point limit for any speeding offence and their licence will be suspended.

See Speeding penalties.

Speed limit signs

Speed limit signs show you the maximum speed you can drive in good conditions. Slow down in poor conditions.

Regulatory speed signs

You must not drive faster than 50km/h. Regulatory speed limit signs have a white background with the speed limit in a red circle. You must not drive faster than the speed limit shown on the sign.

Regulatory 50km/h speed sign
Road sign showing you must not drive faster than 50km/h

Variable speed limit signs

These are electronic signs placed in tunnels and on motorways and bridges where the speed limit changes based on the road conditions. You must not go faster than the speed limit shown on the sign.

Example of variable speed signs
Electronic road signs showing speed limits

Local traffic areas

A local traffic area is an area of local streets with a speed limit of 40km/h.

The lower speed limit means greater safety for all road users and more peace and quiet for people living in the area.

Example of local area traffic sign
Local traffic road sign showing 40km/h

High pedestrian activity areas

High pedestrian activity areas have a speed limit of 30km/h or 40km/h.

This lower speed limit improves safety in areas with high levels of pedestrian activity, such as busy central business district zones and small suburban shopping strips.

Example of high pedestrian area sign
Road sign showing 40km/h high pedestrian activity area

Shared zone

A shared zone is where pedestrians, bicycles and other vehicles can share the road safely.

Shared zones have a speed limit of 10km/h. You must not drive faster than this speed limit. You must also give way to any pedestrian in a shared zone. This includes slowing down and stopping, if necessary, to avoid them.

Example of shared zone signs
Road signs showing shared zone

School zone

A school zone is the area around a school between a ‘School zone’ sign and an ‘End school zone’ sign.

You must not drive faster than the speed limit in a school zone on school days during the times shown on the sign. School days are published by the NSW Department of Education.

Every school has at least one set of flashing lights, which operate during school zones times. ‘Dragon’s teeth’ are also painted on the road to make school zones more visible.

School zone speed limit signs
Road signs showing school zones

School bus stop zone

A school bus stop zone is the area between a ‘School bus stop zone’ sign and an ‘End school bus stop zone’ sign. This area is where school buses stop to drop off or pick up children.

If you’re driving in a school bus stop zone and see a bus with flashing lights on the top, you must not pass or overtake it in any direction at more than 40km/h while the lights are flashing.

School Bus Stop Zone When bus lights flash
Road sign showing the speed limit in a school bus stop zone is 40km/h when bus lights flash

Buses with flashing lights

At any time when you are travelling in the same direction as a bus with a ‘40 when lights flash’ sign on the back and the lights on top are flashing, you must not overtake it at more than 40km/h. This is because the bus is picking up or dropping off children who may be crossing or about to cross the road.

School bus with flashing lights
Flashing lights above a speed limit sign on the back of a school bus

Road work speed limit signs

Roadwork signs alert you to the start and end of roadworks and the speed limit for that area. You must not go faster than the speed limit shown on the sign.

Speed limits 40 road work road sign
Road sign showing the speed limit is 40km/h for roadworks

Areas without speed signs

Default speed limits apply on roads without speed limit signs or roads with an end speed limit sign.

Speed limits End 60 road sign
End of speed limit - road sign
Speed limits state limit 100
Road sign showing state limit 100km/h applies
Sign advising driver to reduce speed and to drive to the conditions
Reduce speed to conditions - road sign

Advisory speed signs

Advisory speed signs are not regulatory signs. They show the recommended maximum speed to safely drive when there are hazards, such as curves, bends and crests.

The advisory speed is for average vehicles in good driving conditions. You should drive at a slower speed if the conditions are poor.

Advisory speed signs have a yellow background. An advisory speed sign is usually used with a warning sign.

55Km/h Speed limit advisory road sign
Advisory speed sign showing 55km/h

Drive to road conditions

Even if you’re driving at or below the speed limit, you may be driving too fast for road conditions such as curves, rain, heavy traffic or night-time. See Driving in poor conditions.

Speed cameras

Speed cameras are proven to change driver behaviour and reduce road trauma.

There are 4 types of speed cameras in NSW:

  1. Mobile speed cameras are moved around the road network and can detect speeding anywhere and any time.
  2. Red-light speed cameras capture both red-light running and speeding at high-risk intersections.
  3. Fixed speed cameras are in high-risk locations such as tunnels or areas with a history of severe crashes.
  4. Average speed cameras measure the average speed of heavy vehicles over long distances.

Play your part in keeping our community safe. Slow down to save lives.

See a list of Speed camera locations for NSW.

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