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This question is only concerned with the law in .

Let's say the traffic police spot a car, which is travelling at the speed limit, that they want to stop and question but the other car is on a different road or on the same road but travelling in the opposite direction.

The police have to slow down, or maybe even stop to make their turn. The police can't catch up to the other car without speeding, or waiting for the other car to slow down. Assuming the other car is on a highway, or otherwise unlikely to slow down soon, are the police allowed to speed without using lights or sirens until they catch up with the other car? This is particularly applicable to unmarked cars since most other drivers will be unaware that it's being driven by the police.

If they are allowed to speed, what's the maximum speed they can do without using their lights and sirens? Is there a maximum with lights and sirens? Do they have to radio for permission if they go above a certain limit?

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In Victoria are the police allowed to speed to pull over a car that is not attempting to escape from them?

YES

Section 305 of the Road Safety Road Rules 2017 allows the police to be exempt from the Part 3 requirement to obey the speed limit.

305 Exemption for drivers of police vehicles

(1) A provision of these Rules does not apply to the driver of a police vehicle if—

(a) in the circumstances—

(i) the driver is taking reasonable care; and

(ii) it is reasonable that the provision should not apply; and

(b) if the vehicle is a motor vehicle that is moving—the vehicle is displaying a blue or red flashing light or sounding an alarm.

(2) Subrule (1)(b) does not apply to the driver if, in the circumstances, it is reasonable—

(a) not to display the light or sound the alarm; or

(b) for the vehicle not to be fitted or equipped with a blue or red flashing light or an alarm.

If they are allowed to speed, what's the maximum speed they can do without using their lights and sirens?  Is there a maximum with lights and sirens?

There are no rules or guidelines covering maximum speeds - with or without lights and siren - as it will depend on the circumstances.  100+ kmph may be easily achieved on a freeway but, say, no more than 15 kmph might be the safest maximum in a residential area.

Do they have to radio for permission if they go above a certain limit?

There is no statutory requirement to do so, but there may be a local policy in place to make sure drivers articulate the reasons why they deem it reasonable to apply the exemptions as part of their dynamic risk assessment.

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  • Since this question is about Australia, you might want to change mph to km/h.
    – CJ Dennis
    Mar 20 at 20:36

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