Parking illegally will cost you more in the end

David Carr

Running late to class. There’s nowhere to park.

There are three open handicap spots. The car really wouldn’t be in the way – it is exam day.

It won’t take long. Half an hour, tops. No one will even know.

While making it to an exam on time can save a grade, consider the consequences before making a decision that can cost more than that expensive biology textbook. This fall, towing expenses have increased for the first time in years.

“It’s going to cost a minimum of $100, plus the ticket,” said Larry Emling, assistant manager of Parking Services.

The figure is usually higher for students because the majority of cars are front-wheel-drive. Because few people back into a spot, this requires the towing companies to use special jacks to back the vehicles out of spaces and position them in a way they can be towed without causing damage. This adds another $25 to the bill.

While a $15 parking ticket may be worth it to get to that exam on time, parking in a handicap spot costs a lot more. The fine is $100, and the vehicle is towed.

However, there are several other ways to end up with a towed vehicle, including parking on a sidewalk; parking in front of or too close to a fire hydrant; parking in a restricted zone (such as off-campus apartment lots or faculty lots); four or more unpaid parking tickets; or by frequently violating parking regulations on campus.

Parking Services enforces regulations all day and doesn’t hesitate to call a tow truck when necessary.

Even if the student tries to move the car before the company gets there, he or she is still responsible for a “dead heading” cost because the towing company is already involved and will charge for its time, Emling said.

As soon as the towing company gets to the offending vehicle to tow it, the charge is $85. But that figure quickly jumps when storage costs are added.

On the day of the tow, the first four hours of storage costs only $5, but for any time longer than four hours, the price is $12. Also, each additional day is another $12 added to the bill.

“Ultimately, if people park legally, we don’t have to write tickets,” Emling said. “Our preference is that people park where they’re supposed to.”

Chris Davis, sophomore athletic training major, has mixed feelings about towing.

“Last year I was towed behind College Towers,” he said “I think it cost me like $175.”

Although he didn’t see the sign at College Towers, Davis said he thinks towing is good for the people who pay for the permits because it gets rid of the people who aren’t supposed to be there.

“I think Kent does a good job of letting you know that if you park here and you don’t have the correct permit, you’re going to get ticketed or towed,” he said.

When Davis was towed, he found the towing company’s information on the sign in the parking lot from which he was towed. Most places contract with just one towing company and post the information on the sign, Emling said.

Kent State uses three companies and does not post the information. The companies are: Baker’s Towing and Repair, City Service Towing Company and Plaza Auto Care and Towing.

Parking Services has someone available 24 hours a day to direct a person whose vehicle has been towed to the proper company, Emling said.

Contact transportation reporter David Carr at [email protected].




ƒ-S An example of what you would pay for parking normally in a handicap spot, getting a ticket, getting towed, leaving the car until the next day and paying with a credit card.

ƒ-S Tow: $85

ƒ-S Use of dolly/go jacks: $25 storage for 1st day (more than four hours): $12

ƒ-S Storage for 2nd day: $12

ƒ-S Sub total: $134

ƒ-S Tax on tow charges: $9.05

ƒ-S Credit card use fee (4 percent): $5.72

ƒ-S Parking ticket: $100

ƒ-S Total expense incurred: $248.77

Source: Larry Emling, assistant manager of Parking Services