People driving at excessive rates of speed within community associations is a common problem for many association boards. While this problem can be difficult to address, there are options for boards to consider.
First the association must establish a speed limit for the private streets owned or maintained by the association. This speed limit can be established just like any other rule governing conduct in the common elements.
Once a speed limit is established, the association may attempt to enforce the speed limit rule by levying enforcement assessments against owners who violate the rule themselves or have guests or other residents who violate the rule. Boards must remember that enforcement assessments may only be imposed against owners of a residence within the community.
Boards members should also consider the nature of the evidence necessary to establish a violation of the speeding rule. Generally, the board should have evidence that an owner or their guest was driving at a specific rate of speed above the limit imposed by the rule. This is often obtained through the use of a radar device and/or the assistance of an off-duty police officer. The board should not rely on subjective statements such as the driver was going “too fast” or untrained guesses about the rate of speed the vehicle may have been going.
In addition to enforcement assessments, boards can contact local law enforcement about the enforcement of speed limits on the private streets. Ohio Revised Code 4511.211 authorizes private property owners to establish a speed limit on private property that may be enforced by public law enforcement. Associations may use this statutory authority to post signs at the entrances to the property warning drivers about the speed limit and that the speed limit may be enforced by local law enforcement authorities. While this option is a lot easier for most boards to handle, this law does not authorize local law enforcement to enforce speed limits below 25 miles per hour.
Finally, speed bumps are a tried and true way of putting an end to speeding. While never popular in that they impact all drivers, speed bumps are clearly an effective way of putting an end to speeding within the association!