The TWU (Vic/Tas Branch) strongly encourages all members, especially those operating heavy vehicles, to adhere to reduced speed limits around roadworks – not only for all the obvious safety reasons but to protect their own jobs.
Unfortunately, some members have lost employment or been disciplined after being caught speeding by cameras attached to variable and/or temporary speed signs showing reduced speed limits.
Under current road rules the licenses of heavy vehicle drivers caught exceeding the speed limit by 25 km/h or more are automatically suspended for between one month and one year (see table below) and some employers have rules around speed where suspensions or dismissal can be triggered after a driver is found to be travelling at just 15km/h over the speed limit.
Heavy vehicle speeding penalties apply to vehicles with a maximum loaded weight over 4.5 tonnes, a vehicle including any trailers being towed with a maximum loaded weight exceeding 14.5 tonnes or a bus with more than 12 seats.
The rule is simple: If you pass a roadworks speed sign you must drive at or below the speed on the sign at all times.
And you must continue driving within the reduced speed limit until you pass a sign showing a different speed limit. Even if there is an END ROADWORKS sign, you must continue at the lower speed until you pass another speed sign.
VicRoads are able to vary speed limits between 40 km/h and the normal speed limit of 100 km/h, at any time to suit traffic volume or roadworks. Changes to to the speed limit are displayed on electronic variable speed limit signs on both sides of a road or carriageway. These signs are remotely controlled and illuminated, speed cameras automatically adjust when speed limits are decreased or increased.
And for those asking what to do when roadworks signs and roadworks speed limits (or lane closures) remain in place when there are no longer roadworks or routinely left in place during lunch breaks, overnight or on weekends?
Drivers must adhere to the posted speed limit at all times – EVEN IF THEY CANNOT SEE ANY WORKERS. Note, even if you’re nabbed speeding less than 10km/h over the limit as an ordinary motorist you’ll still receive a $190 fine and lose one demerit point.
Heavy vehicles are subject to harsher penalties when they break the speed limit, as the road safety risks associated with heavy vehicle speeding are much more severe than other vehicles and this is why it is also an offence for any person to request that the driver of a heavy vehicle exceed the speed limit – if you feel that you are being pressured to break the speed limit as a professional driver CALL THE TWU on 1300 727 614.
TABLE COURTESY OF VICROADS
Members are advised to visit the TWU website for links on the homepage to up-to-date information regarding road works, changed traffic conditions, traffic flow and flight arrival and departure times.