Avoiding the boot: Clearing up the parking enforcement policies

A common theme among Marist students is the fact that most of us are pretty unclear on the parking enforcement rules at Marist. With various rumors about how many tickets it takes to get a boot or what exactly can you get ticketed for floating around campus, many students simply are not exactly sure what they can and cannot get ticketed for on campus. Outside of the simple rule of parking in your assigned lot to avoid getting a ticket, many students are unclear on the rest of the rules. I was able to catch up with security officer Ann Littlefield and shed a little bit of light on the subject of parking enforcement at Marist so you can avoid getting tickets and the boot in the future.

Parking enforcement fines at Marist vary in price from the small ten dollar fine for not displaying your permit to an expensive 75 dollar ticket for displaying an unauthorized or altered permit on your car. However, most tickets fall into the 25 dollar category, which is given to those parking in the wrong lots or for not parking in an assigned space.

Car boot

Car Boot (Courtesy of Google Images)

After multiple offenses at Marist, often times a car will be booted. While we have all no doubt seen cars in the parking lots with boots on them, many students do not know just how many outstanding infractions they can have before their car gets booted. Getting booted at Marist comes with a 35 dollar price tag to have it removed and according to Marist Security policy, “Vehicles booted must pay fines and remove vehicle within 48 hours or vehicle will be towed.” Yet the online Marist parking enforcement rules do not give specifics on what exactly leads you to get booted, and simply states “repeat offenders will be booted”, leaving much room for interpretation to the standard reader. Littlefield verified this saying that there is in fact no exact limit on how many tickets is required for a boot. However, she did say that it is usually 3 or more tickets, or 2 to 3 if the violations are all for the same offense. It is safe to say that even if you haven’t paid 2 to 3 of your tickets, you should be expecting to be booted sometime soon.

Some students at Marist don’t register to park on campus and try and evade security and not pay their parking tickets. However, Officer Littlefield said that those tactics don’t usually work for getting out of paying tickets. “We have a database where you can type in a license plate number and bring up all of the information about that car,” She added, “you can also type in a students ID and bring up the information there.” She also added however, that the enforcement policies for unregistered vehicles are very similar to those for registered student vehicles. This means that even if you don’t register your car with Marist, they can still tell how many times your car has been ticketed and still eventually boot your car.

One of the major problems that many students who live off campus faced is the event that both the Beck and McCann parking lots are entirely filled, leaving the off campus students with nowhere to park. Many students do not understand the proper protocol for this scenario and thus end up getting tickets that they are not happy with. According to Officer Littlefield you are supposed to, “Call in and let us know the lots are full,” adding, “we will send an officer to verify that the lots are full and then we will give you a new lot number to park in.” Although this may cost you a small amount of time, it saves you the price of having to pay more money.

One of the lesser known things that Marist Security is allowed to ticket for is for certain moving violations as well as parking infractions. Although the Marist Security policy states that, “Vehicles shall be operated on campus at all times so as not to endanger life or property. No person shall drive a vehicle on College roadways or in College parking areas at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent under the existing conditions, but in no event at a speed greater than 20 miles per hour.” It leaves out the vital information that Marist Security is allowed to ticket for moving violations as well. In addition to parking infractions, Marist Security can ticket for speeding over 20 miles per hour on campus as well as running stop signs. However, this is far less frequent according to Officer Littlefield. “We’re not cops, most of the time we won’t ticket for driving too fast, we’ll usually just tell you to slow it down.” She said, adding, “its mostly just parking tickets.” While this is a lesser used form of ticketing, it is one that affects Marist students and that students should be aware of nonetheless.

Asked if overall students not paying parking tickets was an issue, Officer Littlefield said that although most students do in fact pay their tickets on time, there still is an issue with some that are not paid on time. However, the price of these unpaid tickets is simply added on to your account at Marist, meaning you are paying for it one way or another. Littlefield added, “As a security officer and a mother, I just wish everyone would park in their own lots.” However, if for some reason you do end up getting a ticket and feel the need to fight it, there is always an appeal form you can fill out to contest the ticket. These appeals are handled by student government and are a final verdict.

Although some of these rules may be inconvenient to follow when pressed for time and rushing to or from class, following these simple rules will keep you from having to pay unnecessary fines to the school and keep the boot off of your car.

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