Speed Limits by Country

The speed limit was born in 1861 when the United Kingdom introduced a 10 mile per hour maximum known as the Locomotive Act. The UK is today one of the only places in the world to show speed limits in miles per hour while most other countries use kilometres per hour.
country speed limits
Today there is only one country in the world which has no speed limits at all – the Isle of Man – though famously there are areas of the German autobahns (motorways) which have only advisory speed limits known as 'richgeschwindigkeit'. Ironically fatalities on the autobahns have been less than some countries with lower speed limits like Japan where the limit is 100kph.

Speed limits vary in the various American states and between 1995 and 1999 Montana had a 'reasonable and prudent' speed limit which was non numerical. In the Northern Territory of Australia a speed limit of 110 or 130kph was introduced in 2007 after years of having no limits.

Poland has the world's highest speed limit which is 140kph on motorways, though the Austrians dabbled with having a 160kph variable limit on motorways in 2006. Variable speed limits are used on the M25 motorway in Britain with great success and they cut down on accidents and delays. Germany also has an advanced computer controlled variable speed limit system.

The United States generally has quite low speed limits at about 50kph on many freeways. In most of Europe the corresponding speed is 60kph. Europe designs its speed signs according to the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals and uses a circular with black text on a white background and a red border. By contrast Canada and the U.S use rectangular signs.

speed limit statistics

Speed Limits Per Country

COUNTRY

KPH

MPH

Australia
90-110
56-68
Argentina
100-130
62-80
Austria
130
80
Algeria
120
74
France
110-130
68-80
Brazil
80-120
50-74
Belgium
120
74
Bulgaria
130
80
Ukraine
130
80
China
100-120
62-74
Portugal
120
74
Canada
70-110
43-68
Cuba
100
62
Chile 
120
74
Czech Republic 
130
80
Croatia
130
80
Denmark 
110-130
68-80
Japan
100
62
Egypt
90
56
Estonia
No Motorways
-
El Salvador
90
56
Finland 
120
74
Georgia
80
50
Ghana
No Motorways
-
Germany
130* some parts no limit
80*
Greece
120
74
Gibraltar
No Motorways
-
Hungary
130
80
Hong Kong 
70-110
43-68
Norway
100
62
India
100
62
Iceland
90
56
Israel
110
68
Ireland
120
74
Italy
130
80
Jordan 
No Motorways
-
Jamaica
80
50
Kenya
110
68
Lithuania
110-130
68-80
Luxembourg
130
80
Mexico
100
62
Malta
No Motorways
-
Malaysia
110
68
Netherlands
120
74
New Zealand
100
56
Poland
140
87
Romania
130
80
Russia
110
62
Serbia
120
74
Slovakia
130
80
Switzerland
120
74
Slovenia
130
80
South Africa
120
74
Saudi Arabia
80-120
50-74
Singapore 
90
56
Spain
120
74
Sweden
90
56
Thailand
120
74
Turkey
120
74
United States
90-130
56-80
United Kingdom
80-113
50-70


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Comments

James C. Walker
Motorways in most countries have or would have 85th percentile speeds of 120 kph to 150 kph. ALL should be posted that way. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor Michigan USA
3/27/2011 7:26:07 PM
 

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