Can speedsters be fined in a gated estate?

With the increase of individuals purchasing homes within a security state, Chris Fick and associates, a local law firm, advises there are regulations which potential owners must abide by, in specific relation to speeding regulations.  

In a specific case relating to a property owner and their daughters’ speeding the case revealed that residents in a security estate must comply with the regulations bound by the estates’ Home Owners Association (HOA) or the Sectional Title Body Corporate. When potential buyers sign the HOA rules and regulations, they are bound to adhere to it.  

 

“When the [property owners] chose to purchase property within the estate and become members of the Association, they agreed to be bound by its rules” an extract taken from the court judgement.  

 

 

There is an array of benefits from buying a property in a security estate – from a safety and community perspective including the potential for growth in the properties value.   

As a high profile case in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) the decision provides insight into whether drivers can be fined for speeding within the golf estate’s roads in question. Previously, the High Court held that the speed limit rules imposed on the specific estate in question were an unlawful attempt to usurp State powers over public roads and therefore invalid. In this specific case, the HOAs and Bodies Corporate had an outcome in their favour. 

The estate in question comprised of an estimated 890 freehold and sectional title properties with extensive common areas and facilities has a network of roads and pathways. A speed limit of 40km/h on its roads with penalties for speeding.  The case involved a property owner who was fined R3000 for his daughter’s repeated speeding and he refused to pay or take responsibility for the contravention. Previously the High Court held that speed limits were not valid based on the concept that the estate roads were considered ‘public roads’.  

After debate, the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned the previously held ruling, stating that the estate is considered a ‘private township’, therefore its roads are considered ‘private’. This ruling was made as the roads of an estate are not accessible by the general public with admission being restricted by an electrified perimeter by fencing and gated access regulations.  

Homeowners had voluntarily bound themselves via the contract to use the estate’s roads subject to the existing regulations. Visitors are allowed into the estate based on the owner’s consent and if those individuals are subject to contraventions, the owner will be held liable.  

The road regulations were not considered unreasonable as it caters to ensuring the safety of children, pedestrians and animals (wild and domestic) in the estate.  Overall, the homeowner in question must pay the speeding fines incurred by his daughter along with some of the legal costs.  

Although, estate owners must contact legal services if faced with a similar case in order to gain expert advice on how to deal with the matter.  

Source: Chris Fick & Associates 

 

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