Slow Down! Why Speeding and Parking Regulations are Important
Even the most law-abiding citizens are usually guilty of speeding and parking violations every now and then. Whether it be rushing to work or absent-mindedly driving fast to an upbeat song, at one time or another, we have all exceeded the speed limit.
In a gated community where police do not regularly patrol, speeding tends to be at its worst. With no threat of a policeman nearby, people will speed because they can get away with it. Speeding in a community, however, is one of the worst places to “put the petal to the metal”. In a community, kids tend to play in the streets, neighbors will chat on a curbside, and pets may be crossing the road.
What most people do not know is that the consequences under Hawaii law for speeding, and particularly excessive speeding, are harsh. Non-compliance with the speed limit is a $250 fine. Excessive speeding, which is 30 miles over the posted speed limit, results in fines, community service, jail, driver re-training classes, and a license revocation for 30 days.
If speeding leads to the injury of a person, the consequence can be a felony resulting in prison time of five years. If someone dies as a result, it can be considered negligent homicide at best , and at worst, it can be considered manslaughter, which results in 20 years in prison.
Often, a community’s answer to speeding is installing buy speed bumps. Some people are supportive, and some are against, speed bumps. Some owners claim there seems to be a correlation between how far an owner lives from the entrance and how opposed the owner is to speed bumps.
Those in favor of speed bumps accurately conclude that speed bumps will slow cars down, particularly if there are multiple bumps. Those against speed bumps believe that the bumps distract drivers drawing attention away from other things, that the bumps will slow emergency vehicles, the bumps can cause damage to cars, and that bumps can even cause back pain or other bodily injury to drivers that repeatedly drive over speed bumps. To warn against potential damage to cars, some associations post warning signs next to the speed bump. However, some people warn that the sign also serves as another distraction.
An alternative to installation of speed bumps are road reflectors which can get the attention of a driver as a reminder to slow down. Many associations have “children at play” signs, some of which are in bright fluorescent colors. Or, if the big violators are parcel delivery trucks, then it can be worthwhile to report the chronic offenders to the home office.
Another frequent violation within homeowners associations is parking overnight on the streets. While it seems innocent, it is against the Maui County ordinances. Maui County Code Section 10.48.110 provides: “No person shall park a vehicle on any roadway for a period of time longer than sixty minutes between the hours of two a.m. and six a.m. of any day; subject, however, to the exceptions granted authorized emergency vehicles, pursuant to this title.” The basis for this ordinance is to allow emergency vehicles, such as large fire trucks, easy access through a neighborhood in the middle of the night when owners of cars parked on the street are sleeping and cannot be easily found. If people park cars on the street overnight on both sides of the street, it could be impossible for an emergency vehicle to reach a house to put out a fire or attend to someone suffering a medical buy condition where every second matters.
In order to obtain parking rule compliance, communities must resort to patrolling for violations, issuing violation notices and fines, and even towing if necessary. Associations used to be able to put the “boot” on a car, but there has been legislation recently passed prohibiting this method.
The bottom line is when people speed or ignore parking rules it costs the owners in that community money. All of the methods to prohibit traffic violations have costs. Installation and maintenance of speed bumps or signs, increased patrolling and towing all cost the homeowners money.
The best method to regulate speeding and parking is a community-wide effort to alert owners, tenants and visitors of the importance of slowing down and obeying parking ordnances to increase safety for everyone. Owners make sure to tell your visitors to park in the driveway, so that the streets are not blocked at night. If you see a neighbor speeding on your street, kindly waive your hand in a motion suggesting that the neighbor to slow down. This simple gesture is a free method to remind everyone to slow down!