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[VIC] Speed Limit Sign Size

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by zilly, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Was cruising along some back streets the other day and saw a CD sized 40km Zone. Is this size legal (or do the signs have to be a specific size)?

  2. There should be a standard size - be aware that there's some dodgy fake speed limits around - put up by locals usually.
  3. Sanctuary Lakes is a classic example of where the developer put up their own, smaller speed signs on roadside posts for 50 Km/h, on a two lane road with no driveways that should be 70 Km/h.

    Unfortunately, if there are no legitimate speed signs on an urban road, the speed limit defaults to 50 Km/h anyway, so the unofficial speed signs are only telling it as it is when they are for 50 Km/h.

    On the other hand, a CD sized 40 Km/h sign can safely be ignored. Australia conforms to the international standard for roadside signs including the layout (number in a red circle) and size.
  4. The Victorian Road Rules (RR316) States the following: Noting section 4 (a)

    More information is in Part 20 of the Victorian Road Rules, and in the relevant Australian Standard (AS 1742) - if any one has a copy they could give us an idea of what it says on size.
  5. AS1742.1-2003 lists 4 sizes for speed signs depending on where they are mounted;

  6. Yarra City Council has a habit of putting up little (20cm) 40 signs all over the place, usually printed on plastic board. Recently I've seen even smaller ones saying "30", but I'm not sure if they are the council's work.

    I mentioned them to a police aquaintance who said he had never been briefed about them. As far as he had ever been told, the default limit is 50 except defined '40' shopping strips and school zones. It seems as though someone is making it up for themselves.
  7. The small signs are "reminder" or "repeater" signs for where the speed limit
    is not shown by a bigger sign for a while.

    They are 100% legal same as the bigger sign, but allow
    councils to install more signs than they would otherwise
    (because they are a lower cost than a big sign).
    Thus helping you know what the limit is when you turn
    out of a side street instead of having to guess for 1km
    until you reach the next major intersection where there
    is a big speed sign.
  8. Interesting information people. However, if someone booked me based on a sign 125mm x 125mm (CD sized) I would be seeing them in court.

    Reminder signs are all well and good, but are only there to remind you of the speed limit on a section of road, as rightly stated, because you may have entered from a side road where there was no legal sign specifying the speed. They do not set the legal speed limit on a section of road, and if regulations have been written to say they do, then court cases are the method of reversing such stupid regulations. The smaller signs do not legally set the speed, and where they show a speed lower than the legally set speed on a proper sign, they can be ignored.

    The legal speed declaration is via a properly sized and positioned sign, which PVDA has listed as having a minimum size of 450x600mm, which is quite large, and is the size I expect to see on the side of the road. I don't mind if they are larger, but any smaller and they hold no weight with me, other than the possibility of acting as a reminder, should I not know the speed limit on a section of road.

    If this were not the case, councils could hide little 200mm or smaller signs behind pot plants, and arrange for all the unsuspecting people who weren't looking for such hidden speed signs to be booked. Councils are just trying to slow people down in certain areas where they have no justification to do so.

    That Rule 316 Section 4(a) is a joke, since it literally means a 10mm speed sign is legal. I'm sure a magistrate would disagree, and would define a "reasonable likeness of a diagram of a kind of traffic sign" to mean that it must be approximately the same size and proportions.

    I despair of our poorly written, misused and draconian roads rules.
  9. You, me, and everybody, and not just road rules.

    Sure I think it sucks when an otherwise honest person gets a fine
    for being 3-4km/h over, while a 40km/h over hoon with stolen plates
    or stolen car gets away with it. But also it sucks when a home or business
    owner can get sued by a burglar because the burglar hurt themselves
    while illegally stealing things inside the home or business.

    The legal and justice system seems to have gained a critical mass
    where the system often overrules commonsense or pragmatism.

    The justice system is a self-serving self-building entity.
    You know what they say, a town is never big enough to have a lawyer,
    until it is big enough to have *two* lawyers.

    Problem is I can't think of anything realistic and better so we have to
    just work hard at improving the system we have got, by doing things
    such as writing to our MPs to change the law, and bringing our kids
    up to respect their own reasonable morals and to take responsibility
    for their own actions.
  10. the street the sign was in was short about 300m in length, and didn't have any other speed signs, except the small 40km sign towards the end of the street
  11. Was there a 40 zone in the next street after this sign?
  12. No it isn't. Literally it may appear as if that is the case but that is not the intent of the law/rule in this case. The intent of this wording is to allow for rules to apply as the signs are of different sizes in the Australian Standards. If that section was not in the rules then lawyers would be arguing about size for each case. Also this way they can amend the standards and then not have to amend the Road Rules. There is method in their apparent madness.
  13. Related to the OP by extension: I want to know about the legality of the following practice -
    In my area there are a couple of precincts, let's say 5km x 5km in size for the sake of argument, around the boundary of which are signs saying something like "40 Area" and "40 Area Ends".
    I've several times heard the current State Transport Minister say that the default urban speed limit in Victoria is 50kmh except for school areas during designated hours and particular shopping strips. All limits other than 50 must be signposted, according to his statements.

    So... are councils acting legally be declaring entire suburbs to be 40 zones, and even if they are allowed to do so, should they not be required to indicate the limit throughout the area, and not just at the gateway points? I mean, you can theoretically travel several kilometres within these zones without encountering a speed limit sign. Surely it would be arguable in court that you're entitled to believe the dafault limit applies without the presence of regualr signage indicating otherwise (?). Legal opinion welcome.

    The point is, the creation of these 'zones' is way outside the guidelines set by the state government for speed zone regulation. How much authority do local government bodies have to do this?
  14. Good question and the answer is, yes they are legal. Refer Victorian Road Rule 22:
    The problem generally with these areas is that each street leading into and covered by the area must have the same signage. Some signs relevant actually show the map of the area covered too.
  15. The old Keilor council (now Brimbank) did that to an area of St Albans years ago bounded by Arthur St, Taylors Road & East Esplanade with a small patch of red gravel seal as you turn into the area and a "Local Traffic Precinct" 40km/h sign on every possible entry point into the area.

    This was done years ago before the 50km/h limit for back streets was even thought of.....
  16. Yep, thanks. That does answer a good part of the question (not to my liking but anyway...)
    But.. what about the apparent contradiction between guidelines pertaining to the use of 40 limits and the way they are being employed? I know guidelines are not 'laws', but I wonder if there is a defense relating to the application being arbitrary?

    Nah. We are fooked. :cry:
  17. Unfortunately the intent of a law is not what is used by councils, Police and the courts these days. They use the literal interpretation to achieve their own aims, which are often revenue raising, and draconian.

    For example, the intent of the Hoon Laws, as understood by the public, is not what they are being used for. They are being literally interpreted and used indiscriminately.
  18. The School zone is just that, a zone. That is dealt with in RR 23. As RR 22 states you can have a Zone in an Area to thereby protect a school or similar. It works both ways you can have a 60 Area when it would generally be a 50 area and a section of that could then be made a 40 Zone near a school. These areas are generally created by a Council in consultation with concerned community reps, Vic Roads and other stakeholders to deal with a local issue. If you become aware of one being created near you and you object to it as it will unfairly impact on you for a particular reason, or one has been created with an adverse affect, then attend one of the local area safety meeting and give input, you may be surprised by the result. These groups appreciate being taken seriously.
  19. Could you give an example, because the impounds I am aware of have fit in with the intent of the law completely. And that is responding to hoon behaviour and extreme speeds in built up areas. These are for cars, I am not familiar with any bikes, although I know they have been grabbed to.
  20. Well, this is a motorcycling forum, so I'm not in the least interested in car hoons being impounded. As it hasn't happened to me, I can't give you details on a specific case, but there are plenty of examples if you look. My concern is that I could be charged under the hoon laws for what I, and others consider to be perfectly safe riding.

    For example: Loss of traction of a wheel.
    A small wheelie constitutes loss of traction, and there have been posts here where bikes have been impounded for doing one, deliberately or not. Loz started a post on one recently, although he didn't say how big a wheelie it was. Search for it. There was a guy who did a stoppie at a set of lights on a deserted road in the evening, in Ballarat I think. He didn't drop the bike, or in any way even inconvenience anyone else, but his bike was impounded. Okay, he seemed to be an idiot rider anyway, but his actions then were not unsafe, and he was in control.

    I lift the front wheel regularly in getting away from traffic lights quickly, when I am at the front of the queue. There is no way I am going to move away from the lights slowly, with the idiots behind me, and no threat to them in front of me. I've learned from experience to get out of their way before they get near me.

    I don't lift the wheel deliberately, but having the wheel just skim the road as I take off, which is a loss of traction but not control, is common. Sometimes, depending on the slope of the road, air temperature, engine temperature, tyre temperature, and so on, the front wheel may lift quite a bit, particularly if I have a pillion on the back.

    All of these could result in my bike being impounded, and a series of charges being laid, for an action that was not intentional, and did not in any way put anyone at risk.

    We, the public, all know what a real hoon is, and it is not a motorcyclist who lifts the front wheel for a short period on any road. Sure there are exceptions, like pulling a wheelie between traffic (splitting), but those too are obvious examples of hooning to the public.

    For that matter, more than 45 Km/h over the (often arbitary) speed limit is classified as actionable under the hoon laws. This is not what the public expected the hoon laws to address.