Understanding Oakland University parking violations, repercussions

Stephanie Sokol for The Oakland Post

Illegal parking is an issue at Oakland University, according to Oakland University Police Department Captain Mark Gordon.

This activity endangers students and pedestrians and puts a lot at risk, which is why OUPD recommends students look a little harder for a spot.

Increased amount of tickets

The first month of each semester results in more tickets as students are getting used to the lots, before many drop classes and the population levels out, according to Gordon.

Statistically, however, there have been more tickets given this year in correlation to the increase of students.

From the beginning of September to the end of October 2011, there were a total of 902 tickets issued, resulting in fines of $18,730. In 2012, 1,317 tickets were issued those months, with fines totaling $28,830, according to the OUPD Citation Violations Summary.

The money collected from tickets is split into three groups.

Thirty percent of collected funds pay the parking bureau manager, and a portion of the funds partially funds a police officer position.

Both of these jobs make it possible for OUPD to be in charge of traffic violations rather a privatized company, according to Gordon.

The remainder of money collected from tickets goes back to the OU Parking Bureau.

Paying the price

Ticket costs are broken down into illegally parking in a handicap space, which results in a fee of $50 and all other violations leading to a ticket of $20.

Other common violations include, time-restricted areas, expired meters, fire lane, non-designated areas, permit-only, prohibited or time limit parking.

According to Gordon, the most common parking problem is students parking at the ends of rows on bracketed spots. Gordon said doing this blocks other drivers’ views and creates problems in the case of an emergency.

 

Taking care of a ticket

When issued a ticket, a student must pay or appeal it within 10 days. The appeal takes two to three weeks to result in a denial of appeal or dismissal of ticket, according to Gordon. If they do not respond to a ticket, they will receive a reminder.

If 30 days pass without action, the ticket will incur an additional $10 late fee. For every additional 30 days, up to a total of 90 days, an additional $10 will be added. After that, the ticket goes to a collection agency and on the offender’s credit report with the agency collecting fees owed.

Gordon said six or more tickets can be tracked with the Scofflaw List and OUPD can impound a student’s car at any time.

The real parking problem

The problem is not a lack of parking, according to Gordon and Greg Kampe, the men’s basketball coach and head of the OU parking committee.

A plan is in place if the campus becomes overpopulated to add structures, which are costly, according to Kampe.

The real issue is that students rely on convenience and close spots when there are other spots that are all only a 15-minute walk to any building on campus, according to Gordon.

“Lack of parking is not yet an issue,” Kampe said. “We’re close to saturation, but when we built the parking garage a few years ago, that made a difference.”

Kampe said students can find spots if they change habits, allowing themselves more time and looking at other options.

“If you’d be willing to walk a little and allow a few extra minutes, you’ll save stress, time and the chance of earning tickets,” Gordon said.

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