Students can now pay, appeal tickets online

Lauren Frankovich

It’s cold, and you’ve had a long day. When you get to your car, you discover a yellow envelope under your windshield wiper blade.

You owe Parking Services $10.

There are two ways to avoid paying your ticket. Offenders are allowed to void one ticket. However, if you think your ticket was written in error, you can file an appeal, said Loretta Nichols, Parking Services enforcement supervisor.

There are two ways to file an appeal, Nichols said. Parking violators can fill out a written appeal form provided by Parking Services, or they can fill out an online appeal. Parking Services does not accept appeals over the phone or in person, Nichols said.

Parking Services prefers to receive appeals over the Internet, Nichols said.

“The easier we make it for them to appeal, the more we get,” she said.

According to the Parking Services Web site, an appeal must be filed within five calendar days from the day it was written and must contain the ticket number.

The appeal is reviewed, and a response is sent to the appellant within 30 days, Nichols said. According to the Parking Services Web site, if a response is not received within 30 days, “the appeal is automatically granted and the fine eliminated.”

Because offenders are able to file appeals online, they are more frivolous, Nichols said.

Nichols said one way to avoid parking illegally is to pay attention to signs posted at parking lot entrances. Most offenders are ticketed for parking in the wrong lot, Paul Beasley said, a Parking Services attendant. The most important thing for attendants to remember when parking is to read the entrance signs, Nichols said.

Beasley said he tickets between 50 and 60 cars a day, and more students park illegally when the weather is bad.

Each lot has an entrance sign, Nichols said. Parking Services tries to accommodate students by putting them up, but many students don’t pay attention to the signs.

“It’s your responsibility to know where to park,” Nichols said.

Some parking offenders are not aware that Parking Service attendants leave a chalk slash on tires after ticketing the vehicle, Nichols said. The chalk slash is put on tire treads so attendants know they have ticketed the vehicle and so they know if a violator has moved their car but is still parked in violation.

Some parking offenders are also not aware that one ticket is voided per license plate, not per driver, Nichols said. Some offenders have family members fill out the back of the ticket to avoid paying fees.

If your ticket is not appealed, it must be paid, Nichols said. Parking Services prefers tickets to be paid online too. It is easier for violators to pay tickets online instead of paying them in person.

“Since it is easier, more tickets are being paid promptly,” she said.

Students need to be aware they can pay online instead of paying in person or using the courtesy boxes, said Marie Beavers, cash processor at Parking Services. If violators decide to use the courtesy box, it is wise to avoid paying in cash, she said.

If the offender does not file an appeal, the ticket must be paid within five days to avoid a $5 late charge, Nichols said.

Contact transportation reporter Lauren Frankovich at [email protected].