Vehicles parked across campus are feathered with party, church and hair salon flyers everyday.
Many of these flyers are thrown away, but drivers should think twice about disregarding notices from the University Police, especially notes about decal registration and towing.
Parking on campus is allowed by permit only. Presently, the ticketing department has a waiting list for students who didn’t meet the campus deadline.
In the meantime, many campus drivers waiting for decals are receiving tickets they will have to pay before they can graduate.
Outstanding fines owed for parking and traffic tickets that have not been cleared by the end of a semester will be included on the student’s subsequent tuition statement.
N.C. Central University’s enrollment is steadily increasing from the 5,753 students housed last fall; as of Sept. 16, that number was approximately 6,521.
There are 1,800 to 2,000 parking spaces designated to those with A zone student decals, which cover 17 areas across campus. Campus police are required to stop selling decals after 1700 are sold.
Decals cost $100 for a complete academic year, and $75 for specific single semesters. The parking lot by the O’Kelly-Riddick stadium has opened up 190 more spaces, but those spaces must be cleared by 7 a.m. on days home games are played.
On those days, the lot will service game attendants, charging $5, money that goes to campus construction.
The police station has sold 300 decals over the amount of physical spaces provided, but created the waiting list after the initial 1700 decals were sold.
The logic behind this is that, theoretically, not all drivers will be on campus looking for spaces at the same time. Everyone from the Aug. 30 waiting list is cleared; several dozen still remain on the Sept. 6 waiting list.
On average, 132 tickets are given around campus per week. A total of 75–100 tickets have been given in a single day, although some students have been getting off lightly by the campus “meter maids.”
Failure to park within marked lines results in a $25 fine. Traveling the wrong way on a one way street or “peeling off,” spinning wheels or other reckless driving brings a $50 fine.
Creating a counterfeit or altered parking permit gets a $100 fine.
Citations are not restricted to vehicular violations.
Pedestrians standing in or otherwise obstructing or preventing the flow of traffic on a given street, driveway or parking lot is subject to a $35 civil penalty.
This all sounds good for the university coffers, but not so good for struggling students. SGA President Damien Ruffin is presently working with campus officials to lower the chances of students receiving steady parking tickets.
“We should continue to sell decals year round,” said Ruffin.
Those who receive a ticket they want to challenge must fill out the appeal at the campus police headquarters within seven days of the given ticket.
Tickets also read: “All traffic violations are subject to towing.” The officer is then supposed to sign the ticket and leave it in clear view of the vehicle’s driver.
Vehicles to be towed are moved by local towing companies, which charge drivers anywhere from $75 to $150 for the service.
The University Police said it will sell as many decals as possible, though most parking spaces have already been sold. The waiting list is in effect but is supposed to be cleared as soon as possible.
University Police Captain Joseph Hilliard gave a “word to the wise” about parking on campus.
“If you’re not registered, the lack of convenient space or activated flashers are not considered a valid excuse for parking violations,” said Hilliard.
Classified freshmen have no restriction for bringing cars their first year, but it is not advised.
NCCU Traffic Clerk Sheri Starks had advice for students who get a decal.
“Just keep your sticker on your front window. Only park in A zones. And when you switch classes, you don’t need to move [your] car every time ... that will prevent any further ticketing,” said Starks.