How far should a homeowners association go to enforce speeding, traffic violations and reckless driving within their community? What should a Board of Directors do when a homeowner or resident speeds or endangers the safety of others in the association with their driving? In some states around the United States, including Illinois and Florida, there is a growing trend among homeowners associations to issue traffic citations for speeding and reckless driving. A Board in Illinois hired a security department to use radar, lights, and recording devices to issues citations, with established fines in their community. The security officers also wore special uniforms and badges. Is this taking it too far? Should traffic violations be left to law enforcement?
Arizona does not have a law that specifically allows a homeowners association, through either the Board or other committee, to issue traffic citations. However, under Arizona law, a homeowners association has a duty to protect the safety of its members against foreseeable activities that create a danger or pose a threat. Further, many CC&Rs and Bylaws give boards broad rule making authority to adopt rules and regulations. The CC&Rs and rules and regulations often contain provisions that prohibit an owner from creating a nuisance or threatening the safety of other members. Further, under Arizona law, a homeowners association is allowed to impose reasonable monetary penalties for violations of the governing documents.
So, if your homeowners association is having these traffic issues, what should you do? Our firm has put together some suggestions to reduce speeding and reckless driving in your association.
- Talk to local law enforcement about the issue and check with your municipality on whether they have additional support for speed awareness or a speed reduction program.
- If your streets are public streets, talk to your local law enforcement about the issue immediately.
- If your streets are private streets, post signs in the community and amend your governing documents to include restrictions on speeding and reckless driving. Post speed limit signs and use speedbumps and/or a radar tracking device.
- Use the Association’s newsletter, website and bulletin boards to communicate the importance of a safe community.
- If your streets are private, and the speed limits are incorporated into the governing documents, write a violation letter and allow for notice and an opportunity to be heard. After the notice and opportunity to be heard, fine owners for the reckless behavior.
If you have questions regarding a reckless driver within your community, call your local police enforcement or an attorney to better understand your enforcement rights and remedies.
 If you would like more information about a specific case in Illinois where the Supreme Court of Illinois upheld the association’s ability to enforce its rules for speeding violations in the community, please see the case cited below. The court held that the association could stop members for traffic violations and issue citations, with associated fines for the violations. Poris v. Lake Holiday Property Owners Ass’n, 983 N.E. 2d 993 (2013).