Speed signs reflect the maximum speed allowed, so you must travel at or below the speed shown. Some drivers may be subject to lower speed limits, including some heavy vehicles which are restricted to 100km/h and some learner drivers from outside Victoria.
When you see a speed limit sign, that limit applies for the entire length of road following that sign until you reach a sign with another speed limit, an ‘end speed limit’ sign, or the end of a road if the road ends at a T-intersection or dead end. Speed limits apply in a 'road related area' which includes car parks and any area that is open to the public for driving, riding or parking, or is for use by cyclists or animals.
In areas where there is no speed limit sign, default speed limits apply.
- In built up areas, the default speed limit is 50km/h.
- For country roads, the default speed is 100km/h.
Refer to rules 20, 21, 22, 24 and 25 of the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2017.
Travelling too slow
The rules about driving below the speed limit relate to unreasonably obstructing the path of other road users, rather than stating a minimum speed.
A driver is not considered to be unreasonably obstructing another road user if the driver is stopped in traffic; or if the driver is driving more slowly than the other vehicles (unless the driver is driving abnormally slow in the circumstances).
The rules provide an example of a driver driving abnormally slow:
“A driver driving at a speed of 20 kilometres per hour on a length of road to which a speed limit of 80 kilometres per hour applies when there is no reason for the driver to drive at that speed on the length of road”.
The key reason to this example is “when there is no reason” for the slower speed. Under adverse conditions, such as rain, at night, or areas with high pedestrian activity, it is often necessary to drive at a speed that is slower than the posted speed limit.
For more information see rule 125 of the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2017.