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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 16710
Experience:  Licensed Experienced Attorney/former law enforcement officer
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I live on a private road in a rural area of Montana. One land

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I live on a private road in a rural area of Montana. One land owner has placed a speedbump on the road to slow traffic. there is no posted speed limit on the road or children at play signs. Does he have the right to place a speedbump on the road eventhough he doesn't drive on it?

Alex Esquire : Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be glad to answer your question.
Alex Esquire : Are you online with me?
Alex Esquire : Welcome to
Customer: YES
Alex Esquire : Can you please tell me whether there is some type of public easement that exist on this private road?
Customer: It is a private road easement that exits on to a county road.
Alex Esquire : Well, do you have to use this private road in order to gain access to the county road?
Alex Esquire : Please help me understand this situation.
Customer: This is a public easement used to access the county road. all utilities are there.
Alex Esquire : Thanks.
Alex Esquire : Is there any posted speed limit on the private road?
Customer: There is no posted speed limit so I can only assume the speed limit is 55?
Alex Esquire : Is the speed bump placed in close proximity to the owner's house?
Customer: yes next to his driveway and he never drives on it.
Customer: It is past his house.
Alex Esquire : Well, in that case the road owner would be within his right to install a speed bump, as long as such speed bump is installed properly and does not pose any danger to the traffic on the public road, aside from slowing it down.
Alex Esquire : Did the owner also post a sign related to the speed bump to give notice to motorists that the speed bump is present?
Customer: there are no signs posted and no warning given
Alex Esquire : Well, the owner can be forced to put up the sign to indicate the speed bump, by the people entitled to the benefit of this easement.
Alex Esquire : Does it make sense?
Customer: how can he control the speed to 10 mph when people have a right to use this road? He only owns 150 feet of the 1.5 mile road.
Alex Esquire : He has the right to control the speed on his portion of the private road, unless it can be proven that such speed bump would cause safety or other reasonable hazard risk.
Alex Esquire : It is not really the speed that this owner is controlling, but his part of the private road
Alex Esquire : Courts had held, that unless the owner of a private road completely blocks traffic subject to the easement or in some other way creates obstacles that would prevent the easement holder from navigating on the private road, that such safety measures, such as speed bumps are legal and can be installed by the owner of the private road.
Alex Esquire : I know this is not the news you were hoping to hear, but please understand that I do have to provide you with correct and accurate answer and unfortunately I cannot change the law to make it more favorable to your situation. I hope you can understand that.
Customer: Is there requirements on the construction of the speed bump an does he have to drive on it as well. he has placed this where he doesn't have to use it.
Alex Esquire : No, the owner doesn't have to drive on the speed bump
Alex Esquire : however the speed bump has to be constructed in a reasonable and prudent manner.
Alex Esquire : Do you think that this speed bump is defective or faulty in any way?
Customer: it is a dirt mound
Customer: does it have to conform to a standard?
Alex Esquire : Basically, the private road owner is legally liable to maintain the road and this speed bump and if there is any type of damage or injury that results from this speed bump, the owner can be held liable.
Alex Esquire : Not specific standards, but it has to be safe.
Alex Esquire : Meaning, that a vehicle should be able to pass over it at a slower speed without any damage to the vehicle.
Customer: is this a small claims court thing?
Alex Esquire : Do you liven in a rural area?
Alex Esquire : Not part of the city or town correct?
Customer: yes on the outskirts of great falls mt
Alex Esquire : Is the area completely unincorporated?
Customer: it is a housing area that is 5 miles out of town. the road is maintained by the people that live here and it takes one idiot. this even creates problems plowing in the winter and other road repairs.
Alex Esquire : I completely understand
Alex Esquire : Did you try to address the issue with this owner?
Customer: how do I sue him?
Customer: yes
Alex Esquire : What is his position?
Alex Esquire : What is the reasoning behind the speed bump?
Alex Esquire : Also, do you know if the county or state police patrol this private road?
Customer: he says he just wants people to slow down. I can agree but I don't speed. can we post children at play signs and post it our selves?
Alex Esquire : Are you asking me if you can post signs on the other owner's part of the road?
Customer: at the beginning of the road?
Alex Esquire : As long as the owner of the land where you post the signs agrees.
Customer: Thanks
Alex Esquire : Are you the only owner being effected by this speed bump who wants to take action to get it removed or properly replaced?
Customer: there is about 20
Alex Esquire : Well, it might be possible for all the owners to get together and hire a local real estate attorney to pursue an action in the local court, not the small claims court, based on the easement impairment, but you would have to prove that the speed bump is unreasonably impairing your rights to the use of the easement.
Alex Esquire : Does that make sense?
Customer: yes does that mean I have aright to travel 25 mph with out being impared?
Alex Esquire : It depends.
Alex Esquire : There is really no definite answer to that question.
Alex Esquire : It would depend on many factors.
Alex Esquire : Such as condition of the road.
Alex Esquire : Whether driving at 25mph would create any foreseeable hazards.
Alex Esquire : Whether there was any type of history of accidents on this road, etc...
Customer: the road is dirt and should only be used at 25 no accidents
Alex Esquire : basically, your local attorney will be able to evaluate your position and present it to the judge in the best possible light...
Alex Esquire : right
Alex Esquire : But it is also possible to put up a speed bump that would allow driving at 25 mph without any issues.
Alex Esquire : Do you have any related follow up questions for me?
Alex Esquire : Thank you and please click on the excellent service rating, so I can receive credit for my answer. Bonus and positive feedback is always appreciated, but is not required.
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