(800) 626-1267

Can Homeowners Get Speeding Tickets In HOAs?

speeding tickets in hoas

Are speeding tickets in HOAs allowed? Can homeowners associations regulate how fast you can go within the community? While HOAs can generally create and enforce rules, speeding is a little more complicated.


Can an HOA Issue Speeding Tickets?

Law enforcement is typically responsible for regulating traffic and issuing penalties for traffic violations on public roads. However, they are legally not allowed to control traffic on private roads. Controlling speeding within private community roads is often left to the homeowners association.

The association can regulate traffic by adding rumbles and speed bumps. It can also add an HOA speeding camera to catch offenders. Perhaps the most controversial tactic is the HOA’s ability to set speed limits. Yes, HOAs can impose and enforce speed limits, even if they are stricter than county limits. They can do this as long as the limits are considered reasonable. These rules are often found under the nuisance clauses within HOA governing documents.

Despite this power, many people still ask: can you get a speeding ticket in an HOA community? Generally, HOAs are not allowed to issue tickets for HOA speeding — at least, not how the police would issue speeding tickets. Instead, homeowners associations will treat speeding as a regular violation.


What About Private Officers?

Association board members may sometimes hire private guards or officers to issue speeding tickets in HOAs. However, only law enforcement has the authority to issue speeding tickets. Communities that ask private officers to issue citations may be at risk of liability. A resident or guest may sue the association for unlawful arrest.

In addition, private officers usually do not have the skills or experience to apprehend moving vehicles. Things could get messy if they do attempt to arrest someone driving. Overall, it’s best to leave issuing speeding tickets and arresting speeding violators to the police.


How Do HOAs Enforce Speeding Rules?

can you get a speeding ticket in an hoa communityWhen a resident exceeds the speed limit, the HOA will enforce the rules using the normal violation process. Associations usually send notice to the violating homeowner and issue a warning.

On the second offense, the HOA may impose a monetary penalty. The association may also suspend the homeowner’s rights and privileges or, in extreme cases, file a lawsuit.

However, homeowners associations can only penalize homeowners if they have made the rules known. This makes posting visible speed limit signage very important to planned communities. Without them, the board may not have grounds to fine a homeowner.

Furthermore, associations generally need to allow residents to be heard before they issue penalties. HOAs often hold a hearing before the board (or a committee) where the accused may present their case.


What About Violating Guests?

Homeowners are not the only ones who use private roads. Guests can also drive along these roads and violate the community’s speeding rules. However, visitors are not subject to the community’s CC&Rs. How can an HOA enforce the rules if they don’t have authority over guests?

Firstly, it’s important to check the governing documents. Some governing documents allow the board to impose penalties on the homeowner for guest and tenant violations, passing the burden of responsibility on to the actual HOA member.

State law may also address this issue. In California, a similar rule exists, allowing associations to penalize homeowners for their tenants’ or guests’ driving violations.


No Authority Over Public Roads

It may be tempting to penalize the residents for violating parking rules and speed limits on public roads adjacent to HOA property. However, associations typically do not have authority over public roads. They cannot install speed bumps, set limits, or impose fines for speeding on these pathways. Instead, the HOA should pass the issue to local law enforcement.


How to Keep Speeding to a Minimum

While associations cannot issue speeding tickets in HOAs, they can enforce the speed limit in other ways. Here are some ways boards can limit the number of speeding violations in their community.


1. Post Signage

Speed limits must be communicated with the community — that is a rule. Otherwise, how would homeowners know what not to exceed while driving to and from their homes? Post large, visible signs wherever possible to remind the residents.

In addition, HOAs can also post signs that support the speed limit, such as “Children at Play” or “Pedestrians Crossing.” These signs are often enough to deter residents from speeding because they know the risks.

Finally, use standard formats and proper placement when posting signs. Local authorities may sometimes assist with traffic violations but may be unable to do so if the signage is incorrect.


2. Send Reminders

Apart from signs, HOAs may also periodically send emails to residents to remind them of the rules. Board members can also use other communication channels, such as their community website, social media page, or newsletter, to limit violations.


hoa speed bumps and rumbles3. Install Rumbles and Speed Bumps

Rumbles, speed bumps, humps, and cushions are effective ways to reduce speed and limit traffic accidents. If the community does not already have these, consider asking a civil engineer to identify the optimal places to install them.

HOAs may also ask the local municipal department to abide by local building ordinances and codes.


4. Use a Speed Camera

An HOA speed camera is a good way to deter residents from speeding. It may be expensive, but it can help the board catch violators and enforce the rules consistently. Moreover, they can give the board hard evidence of the violation if a homeowner contests the penalty. Install them strategically to record speeds, license plates, dates, and times.


5. Hire Traffic Officers

Large gated communities may want to hire private traffic officers to record speeding cars. These officers cannot issue tickets but can report violations to the board.


A Serious Problem

Speeding is dangerous regardless of where it happens. While associations cannot issue speeding tickets in HOAs, they can regulate traffic rules and impose fines. Board members should also take a proactive approach and reduce the likelihood of speeding within the community to prevent accidents.

Condo Manager is an effective community management tool that helps homeowners associations and management companies streamline their operations. Call us now at (800) 626-1267 or contact us online to book a demo!