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Parking tickets decrease

April 29, 1997

By Alison Kuehn

Lariat Reporter

Baylor Department of Public Safety officials said they will write an estimated 20,000 campus parking tickets by the end of this year--but that's not as many as there used to be.

'The number of tickets issued has decreased steadily over the last 10 years due to better student compliance,' Baylor Police Chief Jim Doak said.

In 1986, more than 33,000 tickets were issued, while only 20,200 tickets were reported for 1996.

'There still seems to be a problem with students parking in administration and faculty designated spaces, handicapped parking and maintenance parking,' Doak said.

Tiffany Perry, a Houston senior, said she was distressed when she found a parking ticket stuck to the window of her Nissan.

'I went to the library to study for an hour, and I did not realize I had parked in a maintenance parking space,' she said. 'I was upset to receive a ticket, even though I was careless.'

Perry said she contemplated protesting the ticket because she felt the maintenance space was not clearly marked, but she was discouraged because she thought protesting would be difficult and time-consuming. Perry said she also figured the department would have overruled her protest.

Baylor Police officials said the process of protesting is easy. If a student disagrees with a ticket and feels injustice was done, the department suggested the student should put down a $10 'good will' fee to start the proceedings.

'We strive to work with students if they think the circumstances were unfair, and the purpose of the $10 fee is to discourage flippant objections,' Doak said.

'What bothers me is the fact that I always see the public service officers writing tickets somewhere on campus. They are like vultures, hiding out in the bushes and waiting to nail a ticket to a student's car.' Brooks Grigson, a Springfield, Va., graduate student, said. Grigson said he would like to see the revenue from tickets put toward building a new parking garage.

Baylor Police officials said they expect to write $200,000 worth of tickets this year.

Any revenue generated from tickets is deposited in the general University revenue fund.

'Our office does not receive a nickel from citations,' Doak said. 'All the money is budgeted through the University.'

The money accumulated from speeding tickets on streets around campus--including Eighth Street, which University officers patrol--goes directly into the city's general fund.

Students can accumulate up to five citations before they are suspended from parking on campus. Usually, the fines are tagged onto the student's University bill, and if the student shows further disregard of the unpaid citations, registering for courses is inaccessible.

'Towing is a last resort in the case of excessive parking tickets,' Doak said. 'We usually put a boot on any cars that are parked in designated towing zones because it is necessary to get the student's attention.'

Doak said tickets will be written as long as students fail to register vehicles and park in inappropriate spaces.

'We are seeking to achieve a high level of compliance from students,' Doak said.

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