Video edited by Kristopher Jobe
For Public Safety sergeant Ryan Johnson, finding cars parked on campus illegally is easy, but some parking violators think they know how to beat the system.
“A lot of times we’ll come through a lot and you’ll see an envelope on a car, and it will be all crumpled up, look a bit older, like it’s been there awhile,” Johnson said. “So we take the time to open it up and often its a ticket from anywhere from a month ago. I’ve seen ones from last year.”
Johnson said he typically writes 10 to 20 tickets each day, but not all students take the fines seriously.
“I’ve heard that people who do get tickets just throw them away,” senior Taylor Melvin said. “They (Public Safety) don’t know who they are; they don’t know who drives it. They can’t catch you. I don’t know if it’s true; I’ve never been caught for not paying a ticket.”
Many students believe that if their car isn’t registered with the university, they won’t have to pay their tickets. However, over the last three years, Parking Services has cracked down.
“Those tickets never go away,” Diana Kaardal, operations and parking manager said. “If we aren’t able to connect it to a student and charge it to a student account, we’ll charge it to the owner of the vehicle.”
Kaardal said that if necessary, the university uses independent companies to look up vehicle registration, and she has seen fines eclipse more than $1,000. Kaardal also said it’s not as easy as it once was for students to avoid paying the fines.
“When we first got that parking system… we had a lot of people who had fairly substantial bills,” Kaardal said. “We did work with them to some degree, but I have pretty much quit doing that. It really came back to bite me”
Johnson’s advice for students is to just buy a permit, which cost $1,080 for freshmen for the year and $450 for other students.
Melvin said her friends who purchased permits may have made the right decision.
“They were smart and just decided they were going to pay for a permit,” she said. “I thought, ‘Oh, I don’t have to do that.”
Ryan Shaver can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.