Speed limits in the Australian Capital Territory are usually posted on a sign. In a built-up area, if there are no signs indicating a different limit, the default speed limit is 50 km/h. You generally know you are in a built-up area is you see houses and street lights. If you are in a rural area, the default speed limit is 100 km/h. That is also the maximum speed limit anywhere in the ACT.
Always remember that the default speed limit applies only in the absence of speed limit signs. Some residential areas may have lower speed limits indicated by signs.
If a speed limit is posted on a sign, that speed limit remains in effect until a sign with a different speed limit is posted or until you see a sign that ends the speed limit.
Speed limit signs are also common in certain speed zones. School zones and road worksite zones, for example, usually have designated stretches of the roadway in which a slower speed limit applies.
If you see a “school zone” sign, a reduced speed applies until the zone ends. The speed limit in a school zone is typically 40 km/h. A sign will often be posted stating the hours and days of the week that the speed restriction is in effect. The reduced speed limit applies during those hours even if no children are present.
In “shared zones” used by both cars and pedestrians (such as public carparks), the speed limit is 10 km/h.
In the ACT, a driver with a learner or provisional licence is permitted to drive at the speed limit unless a reduced speed is necessary to assure the safety of everyone on the road.
Fines, also known as infringement penalties, are assessed for speeding violations. The fine must be paid within 28 days after service of an infringement notice. Late payment can result in additional penalties.
Speeding violations in the ACT also result in demerit points. The accumulation of too many demerit points can result in a license suspension. If you may be facing a suspension based on demerit points, talk to a traffic lawyer about your options. You may have a defence that will help you avoid conviction and thus avoid the suspension. You may also be entitled to take advantage of an alternative to licence suspension.
The fines and demerit points applicable to speed limit violations in the ACT are: Offence Points Fine
Exceeding the speed limit by more than 45 km/h 6 $1,811
Exceeding the speed limit by more than 30 km/h 4 $ 664
Exceeding the speed limit by more than 15 km/h 3 $ 325
Exceeding the speed limit by 15 km/h or less 1 $ 215
Fines are subject to frequent change. Current fines can be found in the Road Transport (Offences) Regulation 2005, Schedule 1. The fines noted above are current as of the August 2014 republication of those regulations.