News

How to avoid a parking ticket

A blank ticket outlines fees for violations.

In the first two months of this academic year, there were 860 parking tickets written on campus by Public Safety.

However, this doesn’t mean all 860 tickets were collected. There are ways you can prevent yourself from receiving a parking ticket on campus and ways to avoid paying if you do.

Public Safety Director Keith Molinari gave some insight that all students should follow if they do not want to receive tickets.

First, he said, Public Safety does not receive any money from tickets. The money collected from tickets goes into a general fund for the college.

“We don’t want your money; I’d rather see you park where you’re supposed to,” he said.

He shared that commuters can only park in day lots, including South Street, Jeffords, Campus Center (not the Houses lot) and Coolidge. These parking lots are open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

First-year residents are allowed to park in South Street or Observatory lot. Upper-class residents are allowed to park in these lots too, as well as Hoff lot, Ellis lot and the Houses lot.

No students are allowed to park in the staff lots including Leavenworth, Hope lot, Woodruff or the Athletics lot.

“During the day, residents are not allowed to park in commuter lots since there is a spot reserved in the residents’ lot for them. It is the same as parking in two spots,” Molinari explained.

According to the administrative assistant of Public Safety, if a student gets eight or more tickets in two consecutive semesters, receives at least two no-decal tickets or has been banned to parking in the South Street lot only and is caught parking elsewhere on campus then they will be added to the “boot list.”

When a student is on the “boot list,” if a Public Safety officer recognizes the student’s car, they will place a boot on it. This results in an additional $40 fee with $10 added for each additional day the boot is on the car.

A boot is used to make a student come into Public Safety to discuss their tickets or to get their car registered.

Public Safety can also tow cars. Although it doesn’t happen often, Molinari said that he normally tows about three to five a year.

Cars are often towed to South Street due to snow removal, which in turn costs the owner $30 and lots of confusion.

If a student receives a ticket, they have 10 days to stop into Public Safety and fill out an appeal form. Typically, tickets are waived for first offenses or first-year students who aren’t really sure about the parking rules and regulations on campus.

Both the director and the administrative assistant of Public Safety encourage students with tickets to come in and appeal tickets because they will often work with students to waive or reduce tickets. 

First-year student Nick Belouin has received two parking tickets this semester for parking in a no parking area or out of lines.

“I haven’t gone to get them appealed yet because I’ve been busy, but I really couldn’t see the lines. I think someone should repaint them,” Belouin said.

He will be getting an appeal paper in soon now that he knows the $50 in tickets won’t go away.

The parking fines stay on the student accounts until graduation. If there is an overdue balance of over $200, students are not able to register for classes and if there is any outstanding balance at the time of graduation, students cannot receive their diploma.

Robby Kelley, another first-year student, received two parking tickets in preseason for football. One was for not registering his car and another for having a commuter sticker while parking in a resident lot while he stayed on campus during football camp.

“I met with Public Safety and explained my situation. They were very understanding and helpful in having the tickets removed from my account. It took less than 10 minutes and was very easy,” Kelley said.

Junior Loren Henderson has received two tickets during her time here at Castleton.

“I parked in a commuter lot and got a ticket my first year then again for parking in a commuter lot this year for CA training. I had to pay for the first one because I didn’t even realize I could appeal them. But I appealed the second one and got it dropped,” she said.

Molinari’s message to students is, “allow yourself enough time to park and be able to make it to class on time if you park close or not. If you allow yourself five extra minutes, you will always have enough time to walk to class.”

If students have questions, they are encouraged to call Public Safety at 802-468-1215 or check under the transportation and parking tab on the campus website Castleton.edu.