Q. Why does Leland Police Department stop and write for violations of stop signs in private communities when it is not legal to do so? These streets are private property and only a handful of traffic laws can be enforced, such as careless and reckless driving and DWI. Failure to stop at a stop sign and exceeding the posted speed limit are not enforceable. They are not state maintained streets and the stop signs are not duly erected by the DOT.
A. The Leland Police Department disagrees that it can’t enforce traffic laws on private streets.
“Drivers on private roads are not subject to certain types of enforcement, but they are not exempt from any enforcement,” said Joseph R Pierce, a lieutenant with the Leland Police Department. “Failure to stop at a stop sign can be articulated as careless and reckless driving, depending on the circumstances. There are quite a few laws outlined under Chapter 20 of the North Carolina General Statutes that may be applied to public vehicular areas as well as private roads.”
There are very few private roads in Leland, according to Town Manager David Hollis.
While private roads are just that, town roads are under the jurisdiction of the town, Hollis said, even if they are within a subdivision or community. Those roads do not have to be N.C. Department of Transportation maintained roads.
“Laws can certainly be enforced on Town roads,” Hollis said.
Date posted: July 2, 2013
User-contributed question by: