Speed blamed for parking lot crashes

Suzi Starheim

Parking Services advises caution

Parris Watson said he feels very safe leaving his car in an S-37 parking lot throughout the week.

“I have never had any dings or accidents while it was on campus,” said Watson, a junior sociology major. “My friends haven’t had any trouble with that either.”

With just a little less than 50 percent of students having active on-campus parking passes this fall, damage to some vehicles is inevitable, Director of Parking Services Lawrence Emling said.

“Over the course of the year we do see accidents,” Emling said. “We haven’t had many that I’m aware of this year. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to avoid.”

Emling said there are currently 12,000 active parking passes on campus. He said the number of passes has remained steady over the past few years.

Between 3,000 and 4,000 of these permits will expire at the end of the semester, Emling said, but some will be renewed for the spring semester.

Emling said no matter how careful students are or how visible police are, damage can occur.

“Wherever you get a large number of cars parked in one area, damage can happen really easily,” Emling said. “Whether it is dinging doors or purposeful damage, all we can do is refer students to the police department.”

Karen Landis, Kent State police records management supervisor, said students who have damage to their cars on campus should first come to the police station to write the report. The police then go out to follow up and take pictures of the damage.

“Most major accidents occur on roadways, not in parking lots,” Landis said. “There’s never really any rhyme or reason to these instances.”

Landis said when accidents do occur in parking lots, they are often due to students parking and pulling in too fast or going around corners too fast. Most damages are just dings and bumps, she said.

Watson said regardless of how safe he feels his car is while parked on campus, he does take some cautionary measures to ensure no one intentionally damages it.

“I always lock it and make sure I move it every few days,” he said. “If someone sees it sitting in one spot, they will think it’s not being watched.”

Watson said an alarm would also make him feel more secure leaving his car.

Emling said when it comes to your car, don’t leave items of value in plain view.

“Put it in your trunk and cover it up,” Emling said. “Make sure your car doors are locked. Nobody can really give you a guarantee no matter where you park, but take all precautions to keep yourself from being a victim.”

Contact safety reporter Suzi Starheim at [email protected].