How fast can you go: What speed limits are set for which types of roads?

The numbers vary significantly
by Leandre Grecia | Sep 20, 2022
PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

Speed limits aren’t just restricted to expressways or major thoroughfares in Metro Manila such as EDSA. Just because there’s no limit explicitly stated along, say, a narrow side street doesn’t mean you can speed your way onto the next corner.

What laws state the speed limits for the various types of roads?

There are maximum allowable speeds stated in Republic Act No. 4136. The limits vary depending on the type of road, and there are different limits set for cars and motorcycles and for trucks and buses. RA 4136 also states that “no provincial, city, or municipal authority shall enact or enforce any ordinance or resolution specifying maximum allowable speeds” other than what was stated in this law.

In addition to this, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Regulation No. 19-001 further specifies the speed limit for all motor vehicles traversing circumferential and radial roads within Metro Manila.


What are the speed limits set by law?

Section 35 of RA 4136 states that: “Any person driving a motor vehicle on a highway shall drive the same at a careful and prudent speed, not greater nor less than is reasonable and proper, having due regard for the traffic, the width of the highway, and of any other condition then and there existing; and no person shall drive any motor vehicle upon a highway at such a speed as to endanger the life, limb and property of any person, nor at a speed greater than will permit him to bring the vehicle to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.”

This law sets the speed limit to at most 80kph for cars and motorcycles on open country roads with no blind corners and no nearby residential areas. Trucks and buses will only be allowed to drive at 50kph on the same roads.

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Again, there are various limits set on different types of roads. You can check out the table below for more details.

Speed limits set under Republic Act No. 4136
Speed limits for cars, motorcycles, trucks, and buses under Republic Act No. 4136

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What are the speed limits set within Metro Manila?

As mentioned previously, MMDA Regulation No. 19-001 sets different speed limits for major road networks in Metro Manila. When driving on circumferential and radial roads, all private and public cars and motorcycles may only go as fast as 60kph, while trucks and buses can go up to 50kph.

For your reference, we’ve listed down the different roads below. Just take note that while the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) is identified as R3 here, the 60kph minimum and 100kph speed limit prevails along that thoroughfare.

Circumferential Roads

  • C1: Recto Avenue
  • C2: President Quirino Avenue
  • C3: Araneta Avenue
  • C4: EDSA
  • C5: C.P. Garcia Avenue
  • C6: Southeast Metro Manila Expressway

Radial Roads

  • R1: Roxas Boulevard
  • R2: Taft Avenue
  • R3: SLEX
  • R4: Shaw Boulevard
  • R5: Ortigas Avenue
  • R6: Magsaysay Boulevard/Aurora Boulevard
  • R7: Quezon Avenue/Commonwealth Avenue
  • R8: A. Bonifacio Avenue
  • R9: Rizal Avenue
  • R10: Del Pan/Marcos Highway/MacArthur Highway

Are any motorists exempted from speed limits?

Actually, there are a few exemptions to the rule according to RA 4136. These are listed as follows:

  • A physician or his driver when the former responds to emergency calls
  • The driver of a hospital ambulance on the way to and from the place of accident or other emergencies

  • Any driver bringing a wounded or sick person for emergency treatment to a hospital, clinic, or any other similar place

  • The driver of a motor vehicle belonging to the Armed Forces while in use for official purposes in times of riot, insurrection, or invasion

  • The driver of a vehicle, when he or his passengers are in pursuit of a criminal

  • A law-enforcement officer who is trying to overtake a violator of traffic laws

  • The driver officially operating a motor vehicle of any fire department, provided that exemption shall not be construed to allow unless or unnecessary fast driving of drivers aforementioned

You can also view a Tagalized version of the important parts of what we’ve discussed here through the Land Transportation Office’s information, education, and communication materials. Scroll on below for more.


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PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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