From The Blog
Letter from the Chair: Member Speeding Enforcement
Dear KICA Members:
At the beginning of September, the community association announced that enforcement of speeding for members would begin. The board has received numerous questions and concerns about KICA’s use of photo/radar equipment as part of our traffic calming initiative.
More background and clarification are warranted. First, we’ve heard members’ concerns about safety due to speeding for years. We’ve been monitoring speeding since 2016 and our Security and Enforcement Task Force (established in 2021) and staff have been gathering data and frequent member input through board meeting presentations on traffic calming initiatives for the last two years. A phased approach was implemented, starting with several speed limit reductions and voluntary compliance over a year and a half ago. Speeding enforcement for island commercial service providers and employees began in June 2023. We’ve seen a reduction in speeding from these groups, but member speeding continues to be an issue.
Our KICA Rules and Regulations permit the association to enforce and fine for non-compliance, including Traffic Rules identified in Section 2. We have two highly visible speed limit devices positioned on island roads. You can’t miss them! The radar device flashes your initial speed, but only your final speed as you pass the device is recorded. It gives you time to correct your speed. We are only issuing financial penalties to those who refuse to reduce their excessive speeds.
We believe this approach is a balanced way to address safety concerns, with respect and consideration for our membership. More details on this initiative are shared below.
Chair, KICA Board of Directors
Top Issues Raised:
How was the decision made?
Traffic and safety issues on the island have been of concern to many members since 2016 and have been a specific discussion topic at KICA’s public Board meetings for over 2 years. Traffic calming initiatives, including speeding enforcement, were initiated by your community representatives on KICA’s board of directors in response to member concerns. The desired goal is to gain voluntary compliance and to ensure the safety of community members and guests.
Enforcement of speed limits has been instituted as a phased approach (discussed later). The KICA Board received written information related to the proposed enforcement process with members, asking for comments/feedback, as well as being provided notice of the publication date. The feedback from 2 board members, related to providing a grace period, was incorporated into the process. This did not involve a vote of the board. KICA moved forward with the publication of the enforcement process with members on September 1.
Is KICA permitted to do this?
KICA has the authority under the KICA By-laws to adopt & publish Rules & Regulations. The board has the authority to enforce and fine for non-compliance, including Traffic Rules identified in Section 2. Legal counsel has advised that this document is valid and enforceable.
What has KICA put in place prior to this step?
KICA has been improving its security-related technology on multiple fronts since 2016.
KICA purchased traffic monitoring devices in 2016 and upgraded devices in 2021. Initially, information was used to determine if we had a problem, and if so, where and when. Information on speeds, locations, days, and times was provided to CCSO & TOKI for more focused enforcement efforts.
A review of speed limits on the island led to a standardization of speed limits on many of the main roads. Numerous speed limits were reduced as part of this.
Began purchasing high visibility speed limit devices in 2021 and 2022 in order to alert island drivers to their speeds and to gain voluntary compliance.
Funding was approved to utilize off-duty CCSO deputies to enforce speeds in identified areas. However, due to CCSO staffing shortages and required overtime, we were only able to utilize CCSO deputies infrequently for additional enforcement.
Voluntary compliance and speed reduction alone were not meeting the desired goal. Therefore, the use of speed enforcement was implemented in phases, with contractors and employees first.
Why is KICA just targeting members?
KICA opted to begin enforcement in phases. In June 2023, KICA implemented speeding enforcement for commercial vehicles (contractors) and island employees.
In the July 2023 Board meeting, it was shared that from May 31 to July 2, the following vehicles were recorded at excessive speeds:
- Commercial Contractor Vehicles: 67
- Island Employees & On-Island Company Vehicles: 54
- Membership Vehicles: 63
How will renters and non-residents be addressed?
KICA has license plate information for commercial vehicles and island employees and began enforcement for these two groups in June 2023. Additionally, KICA has license plate information on its membership. KICA does not currently have that data available for visitors which presents an enforcement challenge for this group. As KICA is not a law enforcement agency, we cannot pull registration information or request this information from Charleston County Sheriff’s Office. This is an area that has been identified to look at in a future phase as to how to collect this information and conduct enforcement.
How much over the speed limit will generate a financial penalty?
Based on law enforcement discussions, we are enforcing a reasonable threshold. We are only issuing financial penalties to those who are refusing to reduce their excessive speed, when they are being visually notified of their speed by the two (2) speed trailers in use.
How are the radar devices calibrated?
The radar device is digital. Each time the radar device initializes, a framewear check is internally run. If a problem is noted with the radar, it will not operate.
We have also tested the system against a calibrated law enforcement vehicle. It was found to be accurate.
Lack of communication about the issue.
With the implementation of a five-phase traffic calming program in January of 2022, there have been numerous communications to the membership about the various initiatives that have been put in place. These have included speed limit changes, installation of stop signs, line of sight improvements, and collection and analysis of speeding data. This information has also been discussed and presented quarterly to the Community at the public Board meetings.
History – Key Dates
Below is a brief history of some key dates related to traffic initiatives that have been put in place.
- March 2021: The Security and Enforcement Task Force created
- December 2021: First Speed Trailers ordered / Speed Limit changes on Governors/Parkway/Ocean Course/Flyway announced
- January 2022 – The Security Task Force implemented a five-phase traffic calming program in coordination with TOKI.
- April 2022 Formal BOD Meeting – Q1 2022 Traffic Calming Report
- July 2022 Formal BOD Meeting – Q2 2022 Traffic Calming Report
- August 2022 – Stop Sign installed on Flyway
- September 2022 – Board approved funding for additional Traffic Calming Initiatives
- October 2022 Formal BOD Meeting – Q3 2022 Traffic Calming Report
- November 2022 – Formal BOD: The Treasurer recommended the purchase of a second speed trailer
- December 2022 – Ordered second speed trailer
- January 2023 Formal BOD Meeting – Q4 2022 Traffic Calming Report
- April 2023 Formal BOD Meeting – 1Q 2023 Traffic Calming Report
- June 2023 – Implemented speeding enforcement for Commercial and Employee Vehicles
- July 2023 Formal BOD Meeting – 2Q 2023 Traffic Calming Report – added second speed trailer; implemented employee speeding enforcement
- September 2023: Implemented Member speeding enforcement