Traffic safety should be a top priority for HOAs, where pedestrians and cars are often in close proximity to one another. Speed bumps can be an effective calming measure to reduce aggressive driving and potential accidents on association property. Regulations for installation will vary depending of the association’s location.

Some states prohibit speed bumps on private roads, citing their interference with emergency vehicles. Others may permit them with certain limitations. While there are no national regulations of private speed bumps, state and county requirements may determine where an HOA can install them, and in what quantity.

Speed Bumps vs. Speed Humps

Nearly every driver has experienced the cringe-inducing shock of driving over an unseen bump in the road at full speed. Although many see speed bumps and speed humps as equally inconvenient to their driving, there are actually important differences between the two.

Bumps

Speed bumps are generally used in private parking lots and driveways where cars are in close proximity to one another. At 2-6 inches high and 6-24 inches wide, speed bumps are designed to slow traffic significantly to between 2 and 10 mph. They are strategically spaced to eliminate a driver’s ability to speed within the area.

Humps

Speed humps are usually installed by municipalities on public, local streets or connector roads with a 10-15 mph speed limit. Because they are lower and wider than speed bumps—less than 4 inches high and 1-3 feet wide—vehicles can safely travel over them at the posted speed limit and won’t be jarred or damaged unless exceeding that limit.

Member Input

Generally, speed bumps should stay within the range of 3-6 inches high to avoid vehicular damage, as well as opposition from association members. While the board has the authority to decide whether to add speed bumps, installations that require material alterations to the HOA common area will likely need a membership vote to proceed.

Pros and Cons

Besides the obvious safety benefits, speed bumps are usually much more effective than signage in controlling traffic within an HOA because they simply cannot be ignored. They are also relatively cost effective and easy to install.

However, if installed improperly or without adequate visibility, a simple speed bump can become a liability to the association and cause more harm than good. For this reason, it’s important that your HOA consults with their local government to ensure compliance before installing speed bumps.

Proper installation and compliance are critical to ensuring that speed bumps are beneficial to the community as a whole. For more tips on HOA property management, be sure to visit our blog which features weekly updates.