Erica Fort, senior from Terre Haute, Ind., said she has received up to six parking tickets per semester since she enrolled at Murray State in 2012.
“I think they have my car memorized,” she said.
With parking citations ranging from $30 to $100 depending on the severity of the violation, takes in approximately $91,000 in all citations per year from wayward students like Fort.
Fort said she had trouble getting started this semester because she had parking tickets still on her account that she could not pay off. The total exceeded $100 and she was informed she would have to make at least a $100 payment to register for classes in her final semester.
“This is my senior year,” she said. “If I hadn’t been able to get all the classes I needed to graduate I would have had to spend another semester here.”
Susan Ray, parking supervisor, said Parking Management has distributed about 1,700 “wrong zone” citations at $30 a piece this academic year, those citations alone topping out at $51,000. “Wrong zone” citations apply to zoned parking, visitor parking and no parking zones.
Ray said parking lots closer to buildings on campus are the most heavily ticketed, because they are used more often than lots farther away.
She said the weather, time of day and even which semester it is has an impact on the number of parking violations.
“The entire campus is monitored and parking is enforced 24/7,” she said.
Fort said she received most of her citations while parked near Faculty Hall or Sparks Hall. She said in one incident while she was parked outside Faculty Hall she witnessed several other students going out to their cars parked near her car, but she was the only one who was penalized.
“I feel like they were playing a prank on me,” she said.
Ray said in addition to “wrong zone” citations, “no registration permit displayed” citations are among the most common. Approximately 4,000 citations have been issued this academic year alone. Each violation results in a $60 fine, collectively $240,000.
Ray advised that students should read and know the parking regulations on campus before the semester begins, because parking zone enforcement begins on the first day of scheduled classes, according to the Parking Management website.
Murray State’s parking regulations can be accessed by scanning the QR code on the back of any Murray State parking permit, or by checking Parking Management’s website.
Ray warned students to not use someone else’s permit or allow someone else to use theirs as this can result in a misdemeanor charge, according to Kentucky’s Revised Statutes.
Ray said Parking Management reviews lot usage on a regular basis and annually re-evaluates the parking zones on campus.
Fort, a student worker in the continuing education department, suggested there should be a separate parking permit that gives University and federal student workers more parking privileges.
“Most of the time I’m trying to transport something for work when I get ticketed,” she said.
Ray encouraged students to call Parking Management with any questions, even ones that seem silly.
“Bottom line,” she said. “If you don’t read it in the regulations and you haven’t spoken with Parking Management, don’t park there.”
Story by Mari-Alice Jasper, Assistant News Editor