Open speed limit zone on Stuart Highway to expand

Published: August 18, 2015

The Northern Territory is poised to expand its open speed limit zone on the Stuart Highway by a further 85 kilometres.

Despite the grave reservations of many medical professionals, the initial trial of open speed limits  between Alice Springs and Barrow Creek was deemed a success, and there have already been some expansions.

Now, Chief Minister Adam Giles, has said the NT Government’s wants to further grow the 206 kilometre open speed zone.

“While there are a lot of people who say they want open speed limits from Darwin to Katherine, that is a challenge,” he told a business dinner.

Caravan speed trial for grey nomads

The trial has been deemed a success.

“Very soon we’ll be announcing the opening of about another 85 kilometres and we’ll put $2.5 million into improving the Stuart Highway down there.”

The Northern Territory News reports that Mr Giles did not detail where the 85 kilometre stretch is.

A Government spokesperson said a summary report into the current 206 kilometre trial would be made public in coming weeks.

“As outlined in July, the Northern Territory Government is looking to expand open speed limits following the success of a 12 month trial,” the spokesperson said. “A summary report of the trial and more details on the possible expansion of open speed limit zones will be released within the next few weeks.”

Supporters of the open speed limits say motorists benefit from improved road conditions through investment in upgrades, and through drivers taking greater responsibility and driving to the prevailing road conditions.

In the past month, there have been two caravan rollovers on the Stuart Highway.

  • Do you agree with open speed limits on certain stretches of road? Have you been on the relevant part of the Stuart Highway recently? Has driver behaviour there changed much? Comment below.
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6 years ago

I just wish they would increase the speed limits in WA.

The sooner the NT gets it opened up like it used to be the better.

6 years ago

Real clever, NOT! I am not one for these increased speeds. Someone in their wisdom thinks it’s going to help all the road deaths. I don’t think so. I think I might avoid any such roads and avoid buying news papers. I already turn the other way when fatalities are talked about. Enough already.

6 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Interesting, some facts:

Quote from the NT transport minister:
“We haven’t had a death on that section of road,” Chandler said. “Whilst we’ve had deaths in the Territory in the past year or so, most of them are related to drink driving, seatbelt use and un-roadworthy vehicles.”


The NT’s famed open highway speed limits were scrapped in 2007, when they were replaced by 110 and 130km/h zones in return for increased Commonwealth funding.
Between then and 2012, more people died on Northern Territory roads (307) than in the six years before the change (292).


John Christopher
6 years ago

Personally, I’d keep a speed limit for heavy and towing vehicles as it is. As for the rest, I think there is a reason they named the Territory Capital ‘Darwin’…


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