Do You Have to Drive 40 in a Road Work Zone if No One Is There?

Have always wondered whether you are obliged to drive to the new speed limit (i.e. 40) in a road work area if there is literally no one there working. Like on Sundays what pisses me off is that they've still got the 40 signs and all the road work signs up but no one is working, and on normal days as well.

Nowadays I pretty much just drive the normal limit if no one is working, as does pretty much ever other single driver.

However, I'm wondering whether you could technically get fined for driving the normal limit if there is no actual work happening, or not?

Comments

  •  

    Surely this is a joke/trick question?

    •  

      nope I genuinely wanted to know. Since no one on the roads drives the road work limit on a weekend, yet most people commenting here do. I am perplexed.

      • +1 vote

        If you are seriously asking this you shouldnt have a license.

        "… they've still got the 40 signs and all the road work signs up "

        •  

          yeah they've got them there for their wednesday work. Can't be bothered removing it for Sunday when they won't be there. Obviously I won't follow it.

          • +3 votes

            @DisabledUser310944: Instead of bitching about it here, write, email etc the department responsible for the road works to ask them to explain why it’s limited when no work is being done.

            You might find they have some lazy workers who forget to change the signs when they finish, or there maybe other reasons.

            However unless they tell other drivers the reasons as well, I guess you will get another van up your behind.

            •  

              @RockyRaccoon: don't have that issue with vans anymore since I just drive the normal limit anyways haha. But yeah I might email.

      •  

        Lemming

  • +4 votes

    Do You Have to Drive 40 in a Road Work Zone if No One Is There?

    You have to do what the speed sign says…… If its 40, then its 40.

  • +2 votes

    The speed limit decrease is only half due to the workers, there is also the fact the road surface may be in poor condition, there may be machinery or plant close to the roadway, not enough runoff area or safety barriers if you break down or lose control.
    You can be, and should be, fined for breaking the limit as your argument is similar to speeding in school zones at 9am when you know first period starts at 8:30. Is the 2 minutes you save worth it?

  • +2 votes

    cheers for all the replies, it confirms my initial understanding that you could still get find. Guess I'll have to slow down to the limit, or otherwise keep a closer lookout for police lurching on the side.

  • +6 votes

    Best quote I ever saw on Facebook:

    "I'll slow down for roadworks when I see some actual f-ing work. I'll be f-ed if I'm going to slow down to 40km/h to watch 8 c—-s stare at a pile of dirt!"

    But in all seriousness, as frustrating as it might be when there's no work going on, it's an enforceable speed limit, not a recommendation.

  • +2 votes

    They really need to make someone stand there at the start of the roadworks with the 40 sign and at the end of the roadworks to indicate the "End of Roadworks". That'll guarantee that the signs come down when there's no-one actually there. It's not like there's not enough "workers" on the site standing around doing nothing!

    Does anyone know what ever happened to this proposal by Dan Andrews back in 2018?

  •  

    I’m with op. Ram your 40 signs. If they’re not working and the conditions are fine they should be covered. If you can’t see that the road is fine in front of you, catch a bus.

    Good way to get around this is to knock over their 40 sign. They’ll put it back up when they eventually get back to work, I’m happy to do 40 then.

    •  

      Great idea. Stop and knock em all over so you can get where you’re going faster.

      •  

        for next time silly.

  •  

    Do I have to slow down if I have poor eye sight and cannot see the 40 sign?

  •  

    It’s ridiculous at Westfield Doncaster, 40 zone for mths. Sometimes nobody is working. Manningham shud remove 40 zone if no work is done!

  •  

    Was driving in France recently and had to slow down from 130 to 110 because workers were doing roadwork in adjacent lane!

    •  

      That's nothing, on the M7 they frequently get you to slow down from 100km/h to 40km/h because they are busy "setting up" signage for road works in the shoulder. Massive jip, I want a refund on my tolls for wasting my time. If I wanted to drive at 40km/h I wouldn't have gone on the toll road.

    •  

      That's because in France, most people can drive in a straight line without crashing

  •  

    If no one’s around, i just speed up. Loose debris? Lol These workers are just lazy to put up the signs the next day.

    •  

      Haha I can definitely believe that, I work in construction and the amount of s*** that the workers try to get away with due to pure laziness is just shocking. No wonder they need engineers and site managers to oversee them.

  • +1 vote

    Did you get your licence out of a Weet Bix packet?

  •  

    It is ALWAYS the law to obey designated speed signs. It only hurts your pocket if you get caught. Also just remember usually doing far in excess of signed speed limit therefore considerably larger fine + demerit points & if 30 over speed limit loss of licence which is very easily done if in a 40 zone doing 60-70 kph

  •  

    Of course you need to obey. To 'think' no one is there and drive full speed is irresponsible and dangerous. It may look like no one is there when in fact someone is there, behind something obscuring your vision, or down a hole or whatever. To leave it up to the driver to decide if people are working and then choose to drive normal speed or not is potentially very dangerous and no Govt would ever implement such a foolish approach.

  • -2 votes

    Yes, It is mandatory to follow local speed signs and it is there for a reason 😷

  • +1 vote

    If it's 40 do 40. No questions required.

    Been there and been booked before. It was Easter holidays.
    The police was working and not the construction workers.

  •  

    Before you get your driver's test, I would certainly ask your instructor.
    I presume you are not psychic so would have no idea whether people are working or not…
    Hence the road sign stipulates a specific speed, no matter what.

  • +2 votes

    It's like half the people in the thread have never been country driving on a weekend on a perfectly normal road that just happens to have a 40 roadworks sign. It's either laziness or stupidity that they don't take down the sign in such situations.

    But we've seen in this thread people get car impounded for going standard highway speed when they forgot to put the 'end roadwork' sign up.

    Summary: it's always safest for your wallet/license to do what the signs say. Common sense be damned.

  •  

    I’ve gotten honked at couple times for going at reduced speed where roadworks were taking place…

    then again it tells a story of how impatient the people are these days.

    •  

      It is either they can't read simple numbers or think they are too good to obey them

  •  

    As a new driver I was taught that if the max speed sign is black numbers on white background inside a red circle, then it's the law.
    Other times speed signs are advisory (e.g. those black on yellow signs when approaching sharp bends).
    Stick to the law and you won't get busted.

  •  

    I always follow the sign. But it's not the problem, the problem is the other cars behind me horning :/

    Also if you drive at night time and on country road, trucks will *#$&#$ horn you if you drive slow.

    •  

      you shouldnt care. just go slowly or pull over let them pass..same goes in general for idiots you meet day to day liife

  • +1 vote

    Yes you should.

    If no one is working, most of the time I do 60 and keep on eye out on coppers up the road.

    Annoys me that construction crews can have 40 zones when they aren't working and the roads are in good condition.

    If it was seldom that there was a 40 zone with no one around and the roads are in good condition, people would pay more attention and really slow down when they see a 40 zone.. a bit like the boy who cried wolf.

  • +1 vote

    Might as well - rather slow down than let the state gov get their hands on my money

  • +2 votes

    Yep, even if the roadworks finished weeks earlier and they missed taking a sign down…. And even on a freeway were the roadworks are separated by a concrete barrier that could stop a tank….what's the first thing people do on the freeway when traffic suddenly slows to 40kph…swerve to change lanes! Increases the chance of a crash, but at least you are driving more slowly.
    Never seen 40kph for roadworks on a freeway in any other country. On English (old and congested) freeway, it would be reduced from 112kph (usually do more like 135kph) to 80kph and generally only had cones (witches hats) not concrete barriers. If you can't drive in a straight line at 80 without crashing into the roadworks, then you shouldn't be driving.

    •  

      Most freeway works I’ve seen are 80 during the works except if they need to have stop/slow for traffic control. Then it needs to be 60 IIRC. If there are workers within 1.2m of the traffic lane it needs to be 40.

      •  

        Here they drop it down to 60 and block off 2 lanes when they are trimming the trees on the highway 😂

  •  

    Many years ago now was run off the Hume Highway - I think it near Tarcutta - by 2 large semis not obeying that while I was. Had I not gotten out of the way they hadn't left enough time to break and it would have been bad. My wife was with me. They were going so fast there was no way I could read even partial plates. It needs to be enforced properly.

  •  

    If the roadwork is for 3km and it’s reduced from 100 to 40, how much time will you save driving the original 100?

    • +1 vote

      2 minutes 42 seconds. Time that could have been spent watching 27/70ths of an episode of "bluey".

  • +2 votes

    Yes you have to slow down according to the sign speed.

    What annoys me the most is when you have slowed down to the sign speed there is always an idiot driving right behind your arse trying to force you to speed up.

    •  

      This. Some are arrogant enough to change to the oncoming traffic lane just to go past you while flipping a bird and shouting out explicit words

  •  

    Speed limit is speed limit, there is a reason why infringement is the biggest income for them, because not a lot of driver knows the difference between knowing the rules vs obeying the rules.

  • +1 vote

    If you're law advising, yes.
    If you're not, you can literally get away with murder.

    But time and time again, many people at ozbargain believes its their born right to speed on the road anyway, so whatever floats your boat.
    But don't come crying in ozBargain after you get caught though.

  •  

    Hey guys if no one is around can I run a meth lab ?

    •  

      if a tree falls in the forest and no-one is there to hear it, does it make a sound ?

  •  

    You don't have to, but you should if you want to avoid fines. Firstly, you can't know for sure that they aren't doing road work there and secondly the police are likely to use places like this as a spot to find drivers who aren't adhering to posted speed limits.

    Many years ago I got pinged for this. It was on a Sunday. I drove through a road work section at the posted limit (40) and noted that there was noone there at all. There was also no change to the prinary road surface and/or lanes as part of the work. 20 minutes later going back through the same segment of road in the other direction I decided that I didn't need to slow down to 40 and lo and behold coming the other way around a bend was a police car. The only driving fine I've received in 20+ years on the road.

  •  

    'whether you are obliged to drive to the new speed limit (i.e. 40) in a road work area if there is literally no one there working'

    only if the cops are watching

    reminds me of driving on autobahns in Germany - frequent roadworks/narrowing/lane closures/traffic jams/stops

    I'd have the active cruise control set to 220kph - so - without touching the accelerator, my car would go from 220 - down to slow - down to stop - dribble with road works traffic - stop - dribble - end of roadworks back to 220 - or whatever the slower Mercedes in front was doing until I could overtake it

  •  

    There could be safety barriers and cones on the road that you might hit if you continue at high speed. Maybe crashing into the barrier at high speed could cost your life vs just damage to your car at lower speed?

  •  

    Roadwork…1 guy drilling 10 standing around him and watching him drill…saw this happening on ANZAZC Parade couple of time Thank GOD light rail has started.

    • -1 vote

      They only had 1 drill?

  • +1 vote

    Do You Have to Drive 40 in a Road Work Zone if No One Is There?

    Do You Have to STOP at a STOP SIGN if No One Is There?

    •  

      The police I've seen often don't, even if someone is there, so I guess not?

      •  

        Have you recorded them doing it?

        •  

          Nope. What would I do with such a recording?

          Vic Police has published a video showing a very senior officer illegally completing a hook turn without waiting for a green light if that helps? @ 0:56 https://fr-fr.facebook.com/eyewatchyarraranges/videos/397633...

          •  

            @BobLim:

            Nope. What would I do with such a recording?

            Post it on Facebook.

  •  

    If there are people working I'll do the posted speed limit and if not I'll do somewhere in between the posted limit and the actual limit, depending on the circumstances/road conditions.

  •  

    Can you be fined if a roadwork speed limit sign has been left up and forgotten?

    This one has been around for years – it's been there so long that it's become faded and is rusting: https://goo.gl/maps/Cfa9PNvC5KuWsjAK8

    This one had been left up for several months, long after the roadworks were finished: https://goo.gl/maps/1by5WF5Q9gRs7V8t8

    I've seen many other forgotten roadwork signs like that, but those are the ones that come to mind.

    •  

      Why don't you report it to the local council?
      Get the "Snap, Send, Solve" app and lodge a report…easy done!

      •  

        Don’t be ridiculous. Why would I notify council if something is wrong when I could post about it here.

  •  

    That's like asking "Am I allowed to run a red light if there is no cars or pedestrians"

  •  

    Is the speed limit valid if they don't have all the correct signage placed in accordance with the standard though? Road work ahead, speed reduction, repeated speed, end road work etc?

    It's interesting when they forget to cover one of the regular signs after their reduction, and you can proceed as normal from there

  •  

    Sydney M7 always has 80 or 40 slow down flashing lights. Next minute, slowed down for nothing!

  •  

    It's like school zones, stop signs and red lights, I would still follow the signs and road rules even if I see there is no one else around.

  • +1 vote

    I actually drive at 40 (or any other speed indicated) even when there's no road works. Never had been honked by anyone and most people just overtake me anyway. People don't really tailgate me but if they do then I'm happy to stay at my speed and let them deal with it (as in they can overtake or wait).

    •  

      Good on you. I wish the drivers in SEQ were as obliging. The abuse and poor driving around me is atrocious, during or after hours. My cruise is set exactly to or just under the limit, always.

  •  

    As someone that used to set-up and work in these zones, more than half of drivers don't even slow down, even if you are in there working or not.
    Even when you're trying to set-up or pack up the signs it doesn't matter how many flashing lights you have or how many people holding out the slow/stop lollipops.
    This is half of the reason they now have those flatbed trucks will the flashing lights, message boards and crumple zones built into the back of them because that many drivers just don't slow down, they're just safer to be behind.
    My oldman has been hit by multiple cars, I've had a friend end up in hospital for over a month from a car that was speeding and driving on the wrong side of the barriers.
    After seeing way that some people have driven through road works, it's scary working next to a road not knowing what a driver is going to do.

  •  

    Perhaps the construction company should pay a daily fee to the road authority on the time that it impedes traffic. Then this could reduce the time the road work signs are displayed.

    •  

      Brilliant idea. One flaw, most of the time the construction company is being kid by the government body that owns the road. So it’ll just end up costing more to build - which comes out of rates and taxes.

      •  

        Yes I can see how construction cost would increase. It could pressure personal construction like houses to finish sooner, and maybe for government projects not to delay. There are issues of poor weather and how it will be taken into account. A possibility is that motorists may see more traffic blocking in certain dryer seasons however.

      •  

        Being paid by the gov

        The amount of private construction that impacts busy roads is fairly minor. House construction doesn’t often impact major roads, because the road authorities just won’t allow it to disrupt traffic for a long term.

        Commercial construction does reasonably often impact roads to create new entrances etc and may involve adjusting intersections and things. A commercial construction will likely already have a tight deadline and penalties. They want to get finished and get income from the project.

  •  

    All our other states need road-works laws like they have in South Australia.

    Over there, It's an immediate $20K-$50K company fine for leaving up speed restriction or road works signs when there are no workers present, or the road conditions are not a danger. Repeat company offenders can have the ability to apply for permits to engage in road works permanently withdrawn.

  • +1 vote

    Have always wondered whether you are obliged to drive to the new speed limit (i.e. 40) in a road work area if there is literally no one there working.

    Don't worry mz3bk, you can be assured that no one is working even when people are there.

  •  

    Blanket statement such as "Nowadays I pretty much just drive the normal limit if no one is working, as does pretty much ever other single driver." is completely inaccurate and untrue.

    •  

      how is it completely inaccurate and untrue?

  •  

    Like a a lot of people have said before you still have to respect the sign however a police friend told me that if you dispute the fine, elect to go to court and state no one working, no road hazard etc and weren't going more than 10km above the sign then the cops will drop charge on grounds that don't want a judgement that could then impact all future fines.
    Probably not worth the risk or the the time to go to court v value/pts

  •  

    It is a safety issue, changed conditions at any given day or time, as well as workers and vehicles during work hours.

    Often roadworks are at odd after hours and throughout the weekends.

    The law is the law, you do not get to choose which road rules to follow.Every driver should simply follow the rules, regardless.

    Me thinks you should read the rule book again if you seriously think this speed limit is negotiable with Ozbargainers.

  •  

    I seem to recall that in Victoria there was talk a few years ago about introducing harsher penalties for speeding in work zones, whilst also introducing penalties for work site that has lowered speed limits with no actual work or road hazards. Am I just imagining things? Does anyone know?