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By Jeremy Moser | firstname.lastname@example.org
At Radford University, students frequently face fines for parking violations. The university upholds several parking rules and enforces them with fines and, in extreme cases, tire boots and towing.
Radford’s Parking Regulations
According to Radford’s Parking Regulations, the university imposes these rules to “promote the orderly conduct of university business; effectively utilize parking space within the limits available and to reduce congestion ….” However, some students feel the rules are unfair.
Sarah Karim, a Psychology major, feels the rules are far too restrictive and end up suppressing student use of vehicles.
“My roommate has a car, but she can’t even use it,” Karim says. “She has to worry about parking.”
Additionally, Karim believes these regulations lead to there being not enough spots on campus for students.
Some campus lots are restricted for faculty during certain hours and then open for students after hours.
A car caught in a restricted lot faces a $30 fine. Other fines included but aren’t limited to: “Overtime parking meter” – $30, “Failure to Properly Display Permit” – $30, “Improper Parking” – $30, and “Unauthorized Use of Permit” – $100.
Radford enforces these rules 24/7. The university has every right to enforce these rules, but Karim believes they come with some harsh financial drawbacks for students.
“Their college students, getting tickets makes it extremely stressful financially,” Karim says.
Too Many Unpaid Fines?
Sure, a single $30 citation may not be so bad. However, those tickets can pile up, and they do. If caught with too many unpaid fines, a car faces immobilization – the dreaded boot.
The parking regulations specify that an account with $125 or more in unpaid parking violations is an offense worthy of immobilization. Booted cars that linger in lots for five days will be towed at the owner’s expense.
Students aren’t all against using boots. Luke Blackiston, Criminal Justice major, thinks “booting makes sense.”
“It gives [students] time to pay a lesser fee instead of just straight towing them,” he says.
According to Donna Alley, Radford’s Parking Services Manager, 12 cars were booted so far this year which have been due to unpaid parking violations.
Students unable to pay parking citations could be caught in a bad trap. After 72 hours, an unpaid ticket will show up as a hold on a student’s account which can prevent students from enrolling in future classes or graduating.
What If You Don’t Pay
On top of the cost of the tickets, Radford imposes a $15 late fee when a ticket is 10 days late and then adds another $15 charge after 30 days.
These aren’t the only financial gripes students have with the parking system. Blackiston is unhappy with the parking passes needed to park in unmetered spaces.
“It’s so expensive,” he says. “I didn’t even bother getting a parking pass. I just park at a friend’s place.”
Currently, through the online student portal, Radford sells student permits for $148 if purchased in the fall semester, $74 if purchased at the beginning of Jan. 1, and Summer 2019 permits will be $37.
The university uses all the money it collects from parking citations and permits for parking funds. The uses for this money include funding the construction of more parking areas, covering some of the administration and enforcement costs, and paying for university bus routes as well.
Photo Credit: (Dylan Lepore | The Tartan)
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