The Florida A&M University Department of Public Safety is implementing a new vehicle booting policy effective today to reduce the number of vehicles towed off campus.
“This is a move to cut out three-fourths of all towing on campus,” said FAMU Police Chief Calvin Ross. Violations that caused a vehicle to get towed in the past will get it booted under this new policy. If a vehicle is booted, the driver will notice a sticker on the driver’s side windshield. The driver must then go to the FAMU police station, fill out the paperwork necessary to remove the boot and pay a $55 fine.
Ross said these violations include parking in an unauthorized place on campus, parking on campus without a decal and parking in a gated area.
Commuter students that park in resident parking will be ticketed, according to Ross. But if a driver accumulates $100 worth of unpaid tickets, any subsequent tickets after that will result in the driver being booted.
“It is a criminal offense to tamper with the boot,” said Ross. The boot is the property of the university.
Ross said students will have 48 hours to pay for the removal of a boot. After the 48-hour time period has elapsed, the boot will be removed from the vehicle, and rearrangements will be made to have the vehicle towed.
At that point the driver will no longer have to pay the $55 fine, Ross said. The driver will have to pay the price of getting the vehicle from the tow truck company.
Despite the new system, there will continue to be instances where towing will be inevitable.
“If someone parks in a reserved spot or parks where it is hazardous or creates danger for other vehicles, towing will take place,” Ross said.
This new policy will also benefit the university, Ross said. Revenue will come back to the university instead of going to the tow truck companies. Now students, faculty and staff will now be able to gain access to their vehicles in a timelier manner than if a vehicle had been towed, Ross said.
Students and faculty share mixed emotions about the new plan. Around campus some people believe this new policy will improve the parking situation. “It will make it a lot better because people will have to take the FAMU parking policy more seriously,” said Simone Facey, 21, a business administration student from Orlando.
Facey said students don’t care about parking tickets and figure that they can pay the tickets in four years. “Taking the policy more seriously will be what makes people begin to park properly,” Facey said.
O’Hara Hannah, the recruitment coordinator for the School of Business and Industry, believes the policy will reduce student complaints but should be cheaper.
“Maybe the $55 is too much, but this gives us more control. It is more convenient, and it eliminates some of the outsiders from coming in,” said Hannah.
However, others on campus believe this policy is not going to improve the parking situation. “It is adding to the problem because it has not fixed the problem of not having enough parking on campus,” said Amanda Trice, 21, a senior public management student from Milwaukee.
“The parking problems will persist unless more land is used to create more parking,” said Gwen Parker, 54, an employee in the FAMU department of social work and an education student.
Parker said people park in the wrong areas because they have to walk too far to get to campus. “If you have to park two and three miles from where you have be on campus, you end up late for work or class,” said Parker. “By the time you walk back to your car to go some where for lunch, your lunch break is gone.”
For any additional questions about the new booting policy, John Kirby, the associate parking director, can be contacted by e-mail at John.Kirby@famu.edu.