[ 663-52]  Conclusive presumptions relating to duty of public entities to warn of dangers on improved public lands.  (a)  A sign or signs warning of dangerous natural conditions on improved public lands shall be conclusively presumed to be legally adequate warning of the dangerous natural conditions of which the sign or signs warn, if the State or a county posts a sign or signs warning of the dangerous natural conditions and the design and placement of the warning sign or signs are approved by the board.  The board shall consult the risk assessment working group established by chapter 171, prior to approving the design and placement of a warning sign pursuant to this section.

Terms Used In Hawaii Revised Statutes 663-52

  • Board: means the board of land and natural resources. See Hawaii Revised Statutes 663-51
  • county: includes the city and county of Honolulu. See Hawaii Revised Statutes 1-22
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Improved public lands: means lands designated as part of the state park system, parks, and parkways under chapter 184, or as part of a county's park system, and lands which are part of the Hawaii statewide trail and access system under chapter 198D, excluding buildings and structures constructed upon such lands. See Hawaii Revised Statutes 663-51

     (b)  The State or a county may submit to the board a comprehensive plan for warning of dangerous natural conditions at a particular area of improved public lands.  The board shall review the plan for adequacy of the warning as well as the design and placement of the warning signs, devices, or systems.  The board shall consult with the risk assessment working group before approving the plan.  The risk assessment working group shall seek public comment on the plan.  In the event that the board after consulting with the risk assessment working group approves the plan for a particular area of improved public lands, and the State or a county posts the warnings provided for in the approved plan, then the warning signs, devices, or systems shall be conclusively presumed to be legally adequate warning of all dangerous natural conditions on the improved public lands.

     (c)  The State or a county shall have no duty to warn of dangerous natural conditions on unimproved public lands.

     (d)  If a warning sign, device, or system is posted or established in accordance with this section on unimproved lands, the posting or establishment of the warning sign, device, or system shall not create a duty on the part of the State or county to warn of other dangerous natural conditions on unimproved lands or to place or establish an additional warning sign, device, or system in other locations on the unimproved lands.

     (e)  The State and the counties shall implement and maintain a sign inspection program in which a park caretaker or other authorized person conducts documented inspections of all signs in the park or trail area on a quarterly or more frequent basis.

     Records shall be kept under the sign inspection program which document the date of each sign inspection and whether the particular sign inspected was in place, free of vandalism, and legible.  The State and the counties shall annually provide the board with a copy of the documentation of all sign inspections under the sign inspection program.

     The conclusive presumption provided by this section shall continue for any sign posted pursuant to this section for a period of one hundred twenty days after the last inspection that documented that the sign was in place and legible, after which the presumption shall lapse until the time at which the sign is subsequently inspected and documented to be in place and in legible condition.

     In any circumstance in which the conclusive presumption lapses because of the lack of a documented inspection, the presumption shall be reestablished if the State or county, as the case may be, proves by a preponderance of the evidence that at the time of the incident at issue, the sign was in place and in legible condition.

     (f)  The board shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 establishing standards to guide the department of land and natural resources and the risk assessment working group in the general design and placement of warning signs; provided that chapter 91 shall not apply to any other process or action undertaken pursuant to this part.

     (g)  The State and the counties shall implement an accident reporting and recordkeeping program whereby all known accidents in park and trail areas are documented on an accident report form, and all such accident reports are kept on a permanent basis.  The risk assessment working group shall review and use accident reports kept as part of this program as part of its consultation to the board under this section.