Driver Knowledge Tests

Where can you drive fast?

We’re not going to deny that driving fast can be fun, but it’s not a good idea on the road in Australia. There are plenty of places you can legally drive fast, though.

Racetracks

Racetracks often hold track days or controlled testing days where drivers with a road legal car and a legal helmet can have a go. Bear in mind that you will have no insurance cover if you stack it into the wall and that you are likely to create an extreme level of wear and tear on your brakes and engine. Until you’ve had the experience of coming to the end of the main straight at full throttle, pushing the brake pedal and finding out there’s not much stopping power there, you haven’t lived, so we do recommend it for the ultimate thrill. Check our article about brake fade.

Many racetracks have performance driving schools attached to them. These teach you the concepts around safe driving at speed. Different schools have different specialities, for example stunt driving, racing, chauffeuring and evasive driving techniques.

Police driving school

If you want to become a traffic cop you’ll be taught how to drive at speed. That doesn’t give you a licence to break the law on the road, though. Also, you have to do all the other ‘police stuff’ which isn’t as much fun.

Northern Territory

Four of NT’s highways have a 130km/h speed limit in places: Stuart, Arnhem, Barkley and Victoria.

Private land

On private land, no speed limit applies. There are plenty of large stations with roads where you could (with the landowner’s permission) exceed the road speed limit. Some motor racing events are organised on private roads.

Sanctioned speed trials and rallies

Races on the open road are more and more difficult to organise with the health and safety rules. There are some off-road racing events, too, such as the Australian Off-Road Championship and the Australasian Safari. We have the Australian Rally and we have a Formula 1 circuit at Albert Park (although the latter is fairly elitist, to say the least).

Overseas

Many European countries have high speed limits. Poland and Bulgaria have 140km/h, for example, but head to Germany and there are some autobahns with no speed limit. Or you could try the Isle of Man where the famous TT race is held. There are road speed trials at the Silver State Classic in Nevada, USA and straight-lineine speed trials at the Bonneville Salt Flats. There are similar events in other countries, too.

Darren is an expert on driving and transport, and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

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