HOAs’ ability to issue speeding tickets limited

Q: I was wondering if you knew anything about the rules regarding homeowners associations and traffic violations using a speeding gun.

I received a ticket in the mail with a photo of my car and a number of how fast they said I was going with a $100 fine. I don’t think this is legal or allowed.

A: A number of years ago, there was a proposal to prohibit associations from utilizing radar guns, as a method for controlling speeding vehicles within their communities. This state law never passed. But Nevada Revised Statutes 459.920 lists the prerequisites for the operation or display of radar guns or similar devices in communities:

“1. A person or governmental entity shall not operate or display or cause to be operated or displayed a radar gun or similar device unless it is (a) or was at the time of purchase, on the Conforming Product List of the International Association of Chiefs of Police; and (b) inspected at least every three years to determine whether its level of power and structural integrity comply with the minimum performance specifications for that model established by the United States Department of Transportation.

2. Any person or governmental entity that causes to be operated or displayed a radar gun or similar device that emits nonionizing radiation shall adopt procedures for its use that protect the health and safety of the operator of the radar gun or device.

3. A peace officer must successfully complete a course of training in the proper use of a radar gun or similar device approved by the Peace Officers’ Standards and Training Commission before the peace officer may be authorized to operate a radar gun or similar device.”

In order for your association to assess a fine against your account, it would be required to notify you of a hearing before the executive board. At that hearing or prior to it, if you were to send the board and or the management company a letter, you would want confirmation that your association has met the legal requirements of NRS 459.920.

If not, then you could raise the issue that the “speeding ticket” is not valid as the association did not have the right to use the radar gun. Even though the law does not state that a person must successfully complete a training course, the fact that it is required of a peace officer is indicative of the fact that there are specific procedures as to how to use the gun as well as information pertaining to health and safety issues when using a radar gun.

Whatever the outcome may be, do yourself and your neighbors a favor, slow down. You will live longer and so will other people.

Q: The association I live in frequently has closed board meetings. The announcement for the meetings appears on a bulletin board prior to the meeting. It states there is a closed meeting with time and location identified. Recently, they have also included closed teleconference meetings. There is no subject posted. Is this a correct procedure?

A: If the meeting is an executive board meeting whose purpose is to have hearings concerning alleged violations, then the meetings would be closed. Right now, there is a fine line as to boards having closed meetings that are considered workshops.

A true workshop is one where the board investigates or discusses issues but no decisions are made, no votes are taken. There were proposed laws pertaining to workshops, none of which, to date, have passed. If you believe that your board maybe crossing the fine line, then you need to contact the Ombudsmen’s Office at the Nevada Real Estate Division.

Barbara Holland, certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager, is president and owner of H&L Realty and Management Co. Questions may be sent to Association Q&A, P.O. Box 7440, Las Vegas, NV 89125. Fax is 702-385-3759, email is support@hlrealty.com.

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