Do you know what speed you should be maintaining on an Australian road? All speeds are calculated in kilometres and as you drive on the left hand side of the road, you will see signs with black numbers in a red circle. This is the speed limit on that particular road, but it can change a number of times so don't be surprised if the speed limit drops rapidly when you arrive in cities and towns.
Take note that the top speed limit in most areas is 100 km, but the speed limit in built-up areas, particularly around schools and hospitals, can drop to 25 km. There are speed cameras, fixed and mobile, to capture people speeding that's why it's important to keep an eye out for the speed signs to avoid getting a ticket. The best advice that VroomVroomVroom can give you concerning red light cameras and driving a rental car, is to simply ensure you do not run a red light and go beyond the road speed limit.
What are the different types of speed cameras?
- Mobile Gatso camera - Most of the new cameras don't have a flash which can distract the drivers, but it has an infra-red sensor with camera to produce clear image even when it is dark. This type of speed camera is used in Queensland and Victoria.
- Mobile Multanova camera - This is placed on a tripod on the side of the road and often covered by a black sheet. This type of speed camera is seen in Western Australia.
- Fixed speed-only camera - These cameras could either be placed on poles or mounted on bridges. Most states in Australia have started replacing analogue film cameras with digital cameras.
- Fixed dual speed and red light camera - This camera looks like a red light camera, but it is more modern looking and digital. These cameras can be seen in Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.
Why car renters need to be aware of speed and red light cameras?
Be very wary of speed and red light cameras when driving your hire car in Australia. Usually situated in key intersections, both red light and speed cameras are attached to a pole to detect red light running and speeding. Even when there aren't any traffic enforcers in the area, your road activity can still be tracked. Here are reasons why you need to follow the road rules:
- It is against the law to speed in Australia or go through a red light. If it is a stationary speed camera that records you speeding,you may not know that you will be hit with a fine for a few weeks. Red light cameras are not attached to every set of traffic lights in the country. You may not know which traffic lights have them until it's too late and you see a flash.
- It is dangerous to speed, especially in a rental car that you may not be familiar with. You could put many lives in danger, including your own if you run a red light in your hire car that's why it is best to drive slowly when using a new car.
- If you incur a speeding fine or get caught running a red light, the car rental supplier will charge you any associated cost. You will receive notification directly from them. After the car rental company completes any administrative tasks associated with the fine or penalty, they may charge you an administration fee on top of the speeding fine. This will be charged directly to the credit card used to rent the vehicle. Of course , it is wise that you pay any fines you receive before leaving the country as failure to pay fines may lead in refusal of a rental car, refusal of entry or cancellation of a visa on your next/return visit.
- Points can be taken from your licence (demerit points) which may lead to you being suspended from driving, depending on how many points you have. Each state of Australia has different rules concerning licencing and fines and it may be worth your while doing your homework by state before driving.
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