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Various speed limit signs used in Australia.

MPH speed limit. Prior to Australia going metric, we had speed limit signs in Miles Per Hour. The design was very similar to that still used in the USA.
Today the only surviving examples are usually found in older parks, industrial or other private roads.

Stratford, Vic.

New MPH speed limit sign on a public street in 1999. This sign mysteriously appeared on a public street in Bairnsdale. It was later removed. Presumably erected without authorisation by a business in that street.

It is actually a US sign as the font is not that used on Australian signs.

5 MPH Speed limit. Although Miles per hour signs were phased out in Australia in 1974, their use on private roads and industrial areas continues to this day.

This example was at Loy Yang power station in 2004. It has since been replaced.
END 35 Speed. A reminder of simpler times. 35MPH in built up areas, 60MPH elsewhere. It was one or the other. If the 35 limit ended, you knew what the new limit was. Not possible today.

Signspotters collection.
Derestriction sign. No longer in common use in most states. These signs were once used at the end of speed restrictions in built-up areas. They didn't actually mean that there was no speed limit at all. Rather that the state limit applied, which in Victoria was 100. They fell out of use in Victoria after the introduction of 110 limits on some freeways.
They still see some use in other states.

Signspotters collection.

Derestriction signs. Here's a pair still in use on a public road in Victoria in July 2006. Very unusual. Located on the Thomson Dam Access Road, they appear to have just been forgotten.

North of Rawson, Vic.

100km/h Speed limit.  The speed limit sign shows the maximum speed (in km/h) permitted by law on the section of road after it. In Australia these now come in 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50 , 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 and 110 varieties.  In Victoria we used to have 75 signs too. That was in simpler times when we only had 60, 75 or 100 speeds to worry about.
Fulham, Vic.
80 limit. Smaller 80 sign mounted on the rear of a larger 60 sign. Generally larger signs face higher speed areas so as to be seen further away and allow drivers to slow before reaching the sign.

Stratford, Vic.

75 limit. As mentioned above, Victoria once used 75km/h speed limits extensively. These were phased out in the early 1990s and altered to 70 or 80 zones as deemed appropriate.
This one got forgotten and was still standing 10 years later.

Morwell, Vic.

60 limit. This large 60 sign is the one shown with the 80 sign behind it above. This is a very common arrangement.

Stratford, Vic.

Smaller repeat 60 sign. Smaller signs are used within a speed zone to either remind drivers of the speed limit or to inform those who have just entered the road from a side street with a different limit.

Stratford, Vic.

Yellow post 60 sign. The yellow post indicated that this is an old post. Sign posts are rarely painted today (unless as part of a decorative streetscape plan). This post probably dates back to the 60s and would've had a MPH sign originally.

Maffra, Vic.

Service road speed limit. Special speed limit sign used for a service road where the main road has a higher limit.

Traralgon, Vic.

Service road speed limit plate. Similar to above, but using a separate "SERVICE ROAD" plate under a standard speed limit sign.
The unusual part is that this particular "service road" is actually a main road running parallel to a (former) highway.

Drouin, Vic.

Service road speed limit plate. Another example of the species.

Maffra, Vic.

50 Limit. Standard 50 sign without attachments. This one has since been replaced by a 40 sign, being near a school.

Stratford, Vic.

50 END. An unusual way of signing the end of a 50 zone. This entered a 100 zone where road conditions would not actually allow such a speed.

Garfield, Vic.

END 50. This has become the standard sign for ending a limit.

Bairnsdale, Vic.
Local traffic precinct.

Box Hill, Vic.

25 limit. The 25 sign is normally seen in private areas. Not on public roads. But this one was found at Paradise Beach (Gippsland), Vic.
New Speed Limit Ahead.  Placed ahead of a location where the speed limit has recently been changed.

Stratford, Vic.

SCHOOL ZONE speed limits.

Victoria has only recently (2004) introduced school zone speed limits at all schools. Until then special signs were only provided in special cases.
The signs here normally show 60, but school staff change them to show SCHOOL ZONE 40 before school and again when school finishes. Seemed a good system to me.

Warragul, Vic.

But in 2004, the Victorian Government introduced the somewhat controversial NSW style time-based school zone speed limits. These are in operation 8am - 9:30am and 2:30pm - 4pm on school days. There are 60 limits for roads that normally have 80 or higher speed limits and 40 for 60 - 80 limits. Roads which were 50 zones were given permanent 40 limits.

The road these 60 school zone signs (above right) appear on is a narrow rural road on which 60 is as fast as you'd expect to travel anyway. 60 is dangerous past the school at any time and a 40 sign would've been a better choice at this particular location. It's an example of a system not taking into account local conditions.

The other problem with the time-based speed limit system is that it doesn't work when drivers are not aware of when school holidays are. Not all schools have the same holidays and at times finish early.

Above left: Airly, Vic.
Left: Sale, Vic.

Here's a sign you won't see often in Australia. In fact you probably won't see it at all. This one uses US SCHOOL and WHEN CHILDREN ARE PRESENT plates rather than the usual time-based limit. These kinds of sign (with a MPH speed limit though) are used in the USA - with 15MPH (25km/h) speed limits.
Something similar can be found in South Australia.

I must confess I was just playing around here. The US signs were temporarily taped to a 40 sign, photos taken, and then promptly removed. No cars went past while the extra signs were in position.
Stratford, Vic.
Solar-powered LED speed limit sign. These light up during school hours and avoid the confusion caused by the other School Zone signs. The red annulus (ring) flashes to draw attention to the sign. The outer ring remains lit however.

The second photo is of a newly installed variable sign that can change from 60 to 40.

Bairnsdale, Vic.

Left: Here's a school zone sign in the Northern Territory. There the time is from 7am - 5pm. NT students must like getting an early start and enjoy school so much that they hang around a while before heading home. :)
Alice Springs, NT.  Photo: Robert Parnell

Right: Another view of the same variable LED sign as above, but also showing the Victorian school zone times on the sign is is about to replace for comparison.
Bairnsdale, Vic.
School zone signs in a 100km'h zone. Note the unusually tall 100km/h speed limit sign.

Tambo Upper, Vic.
Left: 70 speed limit sign just before a 40 school zone. Box Hill, Vic.


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Page updated 18/07/2011.

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