North Texas Daily

Parking tickets can be appealed

Parking tickets can be appealed

October 22
13:35 2015

Eline de Brujin | Staff Writer

@debruijneline

A piece of white paper on the windshield is something so thin and frail, but such an item can morph into a costly burden. No one enjoys getting a ticket, but at UNT, parking citations can be appealed.

A parking ticket appeal is an option for drivers who feel they were following parking rules but were still cited. Appealing a ticket isn’t always successful, but it doesn’t cost anything and can lead to change.

UNT Parking and Transportation Services allows people to appeal tickets online at unt.edu/transit. Drivers click ‘‘appeal citations” and log in with their EUID and citation number. Read and accept the user agreement, enter contact information and select the appeal reason from either medical emergency, signage error, vehicle problems or other. Drivers can detail their appeal using up to 1,000 characters and can attach up to three photos.

When Student Government Association president Adam Alattry received a ticket for obstructing traffic at the end of September. His ticket was $35, but he wanted to appeal because he felt he hadn’t done anything wrong.

“I was kind of in shock because it said I was obstructing traffic when I obviously wasn’t,” Alattry said. “One thing I would recommend for students is to take pictures before they get into their vehicle, in the state that it was in.”

When parking officers are writing a ticket, they are required to take a picture of the violation, Director Geary Robinson said.

Sometimes students receive tickets, move their vehicle into a different position and take their own picture to use in the appeal. These falsified appeals are denied, because evidence photos taken by parking officers are date and time stamped, Robinson said.

In a checks and balances-like system, UNT police officers who do not give parking tickets around campus are the ones who approve and deny the appeals.

The university continuously evaluates the rules, and is keen to repeated problems with regulations. If students routinely succeed in appealing the same violation, parking officials might consider changing it.

“It helps us to resolve a lot of complaints because we go out there and see something that’s not right,” Robinson said. “My experience has been I’ll go out there and look at it and they’re absolutely right.”

Meter tickets must be appealed within 24 hours, and regular parking tickets can be appealed within 10 days. A ticket in the appeal process will not acquire late fees.

Integrative studies senior Kristina Prater lives close to campus, but she doesn’t have a driveway. She parked on the street and she received a ticket for parking in a student parking area. Prater said the paint on the curb was rubbed off and hard to see. She said there were no UNT parking signs, so she appealed the ticket online but was denied the first time.

She appealed once again and was approved after she took pictures of the area and spoke to an appeals officer in person.

“I feel like that just helps you to explain yourself better,” Prater said.

A common reason for successful appeals is when students are ticketed for forgetting to display a parking permit sticker, said Jonathan Grose, assistant director of UNT  Parking and Transportation Services.

Most citations are $35. Parking tickets don’t stay on driving records because the parking department is an administrative function of the university, not a state authority like the police.

If a ticket is appealed, it is changed from a citation to a warning to record the offense, in case the driver repeats the violation. The department isn’t required to meet a quota for giving out tickets, Robinson said.

“Our budgets are never predicated on how much citation revenue we bring in because that’s the worst way in the world you can run a transportation operation,” Robinson said.

One student came to speak with Grose after receiving a ticket for parking at a broken meter. Grose said this led the department to implement a new system to regularly check and keep an updated log of broken parking meters.

“We’ve came up with a more consistent way to address it and that way we’re not issuing tickets for something we can’t prove,” Grose said. “We’re making improvements where we can.”

To address the dorm resident parking issues, the department recently added more resident parking in the Highland Street parking garage on floors five through seven.

Pedestrians, bicyclists, bus riders and commuters can give the parking office feedback on an interactive survey on the UNT Parking and Transportation Services website. The survey is open until Oct. 31 and has a map where users can annotate comments about the quality of the streets. Robinson said he wants to improve the whole transit system, especially before the university grows even larger.

“Right now, it’s as good as it’s going to get if we don’t fix it because we’ve got to figure out how to move people in and out seamlessly, and what we should be doing to make that happen,” Robinson said. “Your opinion matters as we move forward.”

Featured Image: Kinesiology major Elsa Graham places a ticket on a windshield. Sidney Johnson | Staff Photographer

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1 Comment

  1. YoMamma
    YoMamma October 22, 08:12

    FYI: even if you win your appeal, the ticket stays on your record. The fine is simply reduced to zero. That ain’t fair. Thanks UNT.

    Reply to this comment

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