Safe Speeds

Speed is a factor in most traffic crashes. Speeding puts all other road users at risk as well as the speeding driver.

In 2010 there were a total of 7761 “on road” crashes, made up of 7102 property damage crashes, injury crashes and 16 fatal crashes. It is estimated that the economic cost of these crashes was some $224 million.

In comparison to other Australian jurisdictions, the ACT has an established and well-designed road system, a general urban environment and a small, well-defined, geographic area. Nevertheless, road crashes remain a significant issue for ACT residents.

Speeding dramatically increases braking distances and reduces the time available to assess and react to hazards.

The chances of surviving a crash decrease rapidly above certain impact speeds, depending on the nature of the crash. Without high impact speeds, damage or injury would be minimal.

Even small reductions in average speeds result in substantially greater percentage reductions in deaths and injuries.

Speed limits are used to regulate traffic flow and promote safety for all road users. Roads ACT has a systematic approach for determining, and where necessary reviewing, appropriate speed limits for roads in the ACT.

In order to provide structure and focus for its road safety activities the ACT Government has created an ACT Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan. This plan applies the 4 E’s - Encouragement, Education, Enforcement and Engineering to address road safety issues.

With respect to safe speeds, these elements include:


  • Road Safety Campaigns
  • Roadside advertising – strategically positioned roadside signs around the ACT road network include speed messages such as “Speed Kills” and “Speed Hurts” 


  • Novice Driver and Rider Licence training – including the mandatory Road Ready and the voluntary Road Ready Plus courses.



  • ACT Road Hierarchy - The road hierarchy defines road types in the ACT, including their appropriate speeds.
  • 40 km/h School Speed Limits - 40 km/h zones help keep our children safe.
  • 50 km/h Speed Limits  - The 50 km/h default speed limit helps make our residential streets safer for everyone.
  • 40km/h Area speed limits - The ACT Government has introduced 40 kilometre per hour (km/h) speed limits in Belconnen, Civic and Tuggeranong town centre precincts to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.

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