Speeding and camera enforcement
It is an offence for any vehicle to travel faster than the speed limit. Increased speed means not only an increased risk of crashing but also increased severity if a crash occurs.
What is speeding?
There are two types of speeding:
- Where a heavy vehicle travels faster than the posted speed limit or its limited speed
- Where a driver travels within the speed limit but because of road conditions (eg fog or rain) this speed is inappropriate.
Speed limits for heavy vehicles
Where no lower speed limit is applicable, the default speed limit on a road for a vehicle with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) or gross combination mass (GCM) over 4.5 tonnes, is 100km/h.
The speed limit for heavy vehicles in NSW varies from the speed limit for other vehicles in three cases:
- Heavy trucks and buses: The maximum speed limit that heavy trucks and buses are allowed to travel in NSW is 100km/h. Even in 110km/h speed zones, heavy trucks must not exceed 100km/h
- Road trains: The maximum speed limit is 90km/h
- Special trucks: Speed limits apply at some locations, usually on steep declines.
Speeding and the Chain of Responsibility (CoR)
All parties in the CoR must take all reasonable steps to ensure a driver does not drive in excess of any speed limit that applies to the vehicle:
- A person must not enter into a contract with a driver or with a party in the CoR that would cause the driver to speed
- The law requires you to take all reasonable steps to ensure:
- The driver does not exceed speed limits
- The driver's schedule does not require the driver to exceed speed limits
- The speed compliance law does not impose any obligations on employed drivers. However, drivers of heavy vehicles are still required to obey speed limits. Penalties for failing to comply include fines, demerit points, licence cancellation and disqualification from driving.
What you need to do
You should be able to demonstrate that all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure your activities or functions will not cause, by act or omission, a driver to speed.
There is a range of ways to do this; checking speed limiters, liaising with customers about unreasonable deadlines, training drivers in relation to safe and efficient driving, getting drivers to report speeding issues, factoring traffic delays into schedules, etc.
Speed limiters are devices that limit a vehicle’s maximum speed.
If your vehicle falls into one of the following groups, it must be speed limited to 100km/h:
- Heavy vehicle or buses manufactured on or after 1 January 1988
- Truck having a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) exceeding 15 tonnes; or
- Bus used to provide a public passenger service and with a GVM exceeding 14.5 tonnes.
- Truck having a GVM exceeding 12 tonnes; or
- Bus used to provide a public passenger service and with a GVM exceeding five tonnes.
Speed limiter tampering
Penalties for speed limiter tampering include severe fines and court attendance notices. These penalties are in addition to fines and demerit points imposed on heavy vehicle drivers for speeding. See offences and penalties and demerit points for more information.
Section 69C of the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 provides that a person responsible is guilty of an offence if a vehicle which is required to be speed limiter compliant is driven on a road when it is not speed limiter compliant:
- The maximum penalty for an individual in breach of section 69C is a fine of $3,300
- The maximum penalty for a corporation in breach of section 69C is a fine of $16,500.
Note: This information is a guide only and is subject to change at any time without notice.
Penalties apply to all parties in the CoR to ensure that vehicles are driven to comply with posted speed limits as well as operating compliant speed limiters.
Section 6 of the Road Transport (General) Act 2005 provides that:
- The person responsible for a vehicle which must be speed limited is guilty of an offence if the vehicle is not speed limiter compliant
- The person responsible for a vehicle includes the registered operator of the vehicle and a person who has a legal right to possession of the vehicle such as under a hire purchase arrangement or a lease.
Heavy vehicle speeding reforms
Following an increase in heavy vehicle accidents and fatalities in NSW, Roads and Maritime Services has introduced various ways to identify and tackle the issue of speeding heavy vehicles.
The reforms aim to make NSW roads safer for everyone by improving the behaviour of drivers and encouraging operators to take more responsibility for realistic schedules and vehicle speeds.
- Increased penalties for damaged, obscured or tampered number plates
- Bi-directional speed enforcement - vehicles may now be photographed from the front and back
- Heavy Vehicle Rating System - all road offences will be centralised so that both repeat driver and operator offenders can be identified.
See offences and penalties for more information.