THERE are two common types of drivers in Australia: Those who usually travel 5km/h under the speed limit at all times and have a conniption if they find themselves 1km/h over, and those who believe in the 10 per cent rule.

The 10 per cent rule relates to the belief among some drivers that so long as their driving speed is within 10 per cent of the limit, then they won't get booked.

For example, you are able to get away with going 88km/h in an 80km/h zone or 55km/h in a 50km/h zone.

This belief is more of a myth than an official rule and comes from uncertainty surrounding the exact tolerances for speeding in each state.

Victoria is known for having a low tolerance for speeding and it is not uncommon for motorists to be fined if a speed camera catches them going over just 2km/h, or 3km/h if it is a mobile speed camera.

In NSW, while the exact speeding tolerance has not officially been stated, it is believed that drivers get a bit more leeway, which is where the idea of the 10 per cent rule evolved from.

On the Queensland Police website it specifically states that the speed tolerance levels cannot be disclosed in order to ensure a "defacto" speed limit isn't created.

Figures released by South Australia Police in 2017 shows that some motorists were able to go past speed cameras travelling as much as 7km/h over the limit without getting fined.

But in the same year there were also some drivers being pulled over by police and issued fines for going as little as 1km/h over the limit.

Acting Superintendent of the Victoria Police Road Policing Command Operations, Simon Stevens, said police did not "discuss thresholds with regard to speed enforcement".

Authorities rarely discuss speed thresholds to avoid a ‘defacto’ speed limit being created. Picture: Simon Cross
Authorities rarely discuss speed thresholds to avoid a ‘defacto’ speed limit being created. Picture: Simon Cross

"Suffice to say if you are detected travelling over the limit or in a dangerous manner you should expect to be fined and or charged with the relevant offences," Mr Stevens said.

"Sadly, many motorists think that it's OK to drive just that little bit over but what we do know is that speed, in whatever form, impacts road trauma."

Speed is one of the biggest factors in causing death or serious injury on our roads.

"What people often forget - until it happens to someone they know - is that injuries are often life changing, not only for those injured but for their families as well," Mr Stevens said.

"Victoria Police will continue its focus on all levels of speeding and call on motorists themselves to consider the possible ramifications of their choices behind the wheel and the harm, 'just that little bit over' could do."

There is a belief that driving less than 10 per cent over the speed limit won’t result in a fine. Picture: Jerad Williams
There is a belief that driving less than 10 per cent over the speed limit won’t result in a fine. Picture: Jerad Williams

In NSW alone, 167 people have been killed as a result of speeding with driving too fast contributing to 43 per cent of fatalities last year.

A spokesperson for Transport NSW told news.com.au that even just going 1km/h over the speed limit could have dangerous consequences.

"If you choose not to follow the speed limit, or drive too fast for the conditions, you put yourself and everyone else on the road at risk," the spokesperson said.

Even going 1km/h over the limit can have deadly consequences.
Even going 1km/h over the limit can have deadly consequences.

"For every extra 1km/h of speed the impact of a crash is more severe, the likelihood of serious injury or death increases, the stopping distance increases and more time is needed to react and avoid a crash."

The NSW government has announced a $1.9 billion investment in road safety initiatives would be included in the 2018/19 budget.

If you are caught speeding, even if it is within the "10 per cent" range, you could still cop a hefty fine.

If you are booked going less than 10km/h over the limit in NSW you will be facing a $119 fine and one demerit point but that bumps up to $275 and three points if you're going more than 10km/h over.

In Victoria, you will get a $201 fine and one demerit point for within 10km/h of the limit and $322 and three points for over that.

South Australian drivers will be slapped with a $174 fine and one point for under 10km/h, increasing to $379 and three points 10km/h over the limit.

Driving up to 13km/h over the speed limit in Queensland comes with the same $174 fine as you'd cop in SA but that jumps to $261 and three points for going 13km/h over.

In Western Australia, drivers caught going 9km/h over the limit will receive a $100 fine followed by a $200 fine and two demerit points for driving faster than that.

If you are going less than 15km/h over the limit in the Northern Territory you can expect a $150 fine and one point or a $300 fine and three points for more than 15km/h over the speed limit.

 

• Do you have a road rule story to share? Continue the conversation on Facebook with news.com.au Driving School.


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