I live on a private non-city-maintained road. There are ~30 houses, and I'm roughly in the middle, it's a dead end road. There's no HOA and since we get snow there's one neighbor who has done the job of asking everyone to chip in for snow plowing, and then another neighbor got a quote for repaving and most of the residents paid that too. It's an old road and no one on the street is interested in doing the work and expense of getting it town-maintained. On the county's parcel viewer the road itself is not owned by anyone.

About a year ago a neighbor moved in that drives very fast on our small little street. He's almost hit me, and more importantly I have two little kids who I'm terrified are going to get hit by a car. I called my police officer friend (in this city) and he said there isn't much he can do. There's no speed limit since it's not a town road. We've talked to the neighbor several times and he always just says "I drive fine, I slow down when I see the kids, I can stop fine." He's really a jerk, to be honest. My wife and I, and another neighbor with small kids, is genuinely scared of him hurting out kids.

I went out and bought some speed bumps, like actual industrial versions that can be bolted to the ground. They're yellow and black with little reflectors in them, the kind a condo complex would install. They're removable so I can pull them in the winter for snow plows to operate.

A friend of mine said that by installing them I'm introducing liability on myself because if anyone has an accident right there they can blame the speed bumps. I'm trying to figure out if I have legitimate legal exposure, and what I can do to mitigate it. I'm planning on putting them (two of them, about ~5 apart) in front of my property on the road so I can put signs up. I can write letters and hand deliver them to every neighbor. I can put a public notice in the local paper yearly. I don't really care what I need to do, but I have to get this guy to slow down before he kills someone.

Cliffs: I want to put down speed bumps on a private road that I live on to slow down dangerous driving and don't want to get (successfully) sued for it.

Any advice would be appreciated.

  • 3
    This is one of those genuine "talk to a lawyer" instances. Local laws can be so diverse that it can be difficult to get an "internet opinion". If you paid enough for those industrial speed bumps, pay for an hour or two consultation and understand your legal position with a real lawyer who knows the laws in your area.
    – Ron Beyer
    Aug 21, 2019 at 20:01
  • @RonBeyer , yeah, the more digging I do the more I agree with you.
    – Eric
    Aug 21, 2019 at 20:02
  • 2
    I wouldn't even say talk to a lawyer here more than talk to your county government office. They very likely own the road and, even if they don't want to install it themselves, would have some sort of formal procedure for getting them installed. You definitely cannot just go install them yourself, liability issues aside. Consider you also must install signage that meets the proper reflectivity standards, etc.
    – animuson
    Aug 21, 2019 at 20:03
  • Did you come across this brochure in your searching? This reinforces @animuson's idea of talking to your county government; you might be able to get the police to enforce the limits on your road after all. Aug 21, 2019 at 20:55
  • 1
    @animuson, it's a private road. Assuming that California is anything like Washington, that means it's owned by whoever owns the land underneath it, which isn't the county.
    – Mark
    Aug 22, 2019 at 5:05


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