There is often confusion regarding parts of the road where the speed limit changes, according to the Automobile Association.
Regulation 292 of the National Road Traffic Act states that the general speed limits are 60km/h on every public road in an urban area, 100km/h on public roads situated outside an urban area excluding freeways, and 120km/h on every freeway. It's important to note, however, that certain roads may have specified speed limits which are specified by a road sign. With this information, the speeding limits seem quite clear.
But what's not clear is the regulation regarding areas where the speed limit changes. This stands to question, particularly when speed limit signage drops more than 10km in a 200m stretch of road. For example, how many times have you been driving from a 120km/h zone into an 80km/h zone, and while you are still reigning your speedometer in the camera flashes and you have a fine? The law states that no prosecution may be instituted where the speed measurement was taken within 300 metres of the commencement of the speed limit zone.
"The point is that it's always pertinent to obey the limit. Speeding is not worth it. The price we pay [in terms of accidents] is not only life, but also the immense cost that accumulates to emergency services and health care, not to mention the knock-on effect this has due to loss of productivity in the workplace when people are injured as a result," says the AA's Gary Ronald.
According to the AA, a driver is more likely to hit another car a pedestrian if it is exceeding the limit. The risk of a crash doubles with each 5km/h increase in speed in a 60km/h zone, and with each 10km/h in a 110km/h zone. For pedestrians, the risks are also immense: a person hit by a car travelling at 40km/h has a 25 percent chance of being killed, says the AA. Increase that to 60km/h and the chances of death are a staggering 85 percent.
"Speed also doesn't get you very far," adds Ronald. "In fact, on a 10km journey, you would save a mere 46 seconds by increasing your average speed from 60km/h to 65km/h. Speeding also means you use more fuel and your engine churns out more gas to pollute the atmosphere. So, for your sake and for the sake of pedestrians and other motorists, slow down."