Parking Services: Pay tickets or get towed

Through the years some students have spread the word around campus that unpaid parking tickets could be ignored. But University Parking Services plans to prove to those students just how wrong they were.

“If they have more than three tickets that equal to more than $100 they will be towed,” said Michael Watson, a parking services enforcement officer.

Watson said in the past, the University did not have the technology to track students efficiently so parking services would target up-coming graduates.

“When we received a graduate list we would intentionally try to catch students before they graduated,” he said.

Watson said that this towing rule has always been a part of university policy, and now they have the technology to enforce the rule.

“Once we put the plate number in the system it then goes back to the main computer and we tow the student,” he said.

With about 20 towing companies in Tallahassee, some students feel the owners of the vehicles should not have to search the tow companies.

“They can at least warn you about your car being towed,” said Travis Smiley, 21, a business administration student from Thomasville, Ga.

“It’s bad enough that students have to worry about exams, and tuition,” said James Harden, a junior public relations student from Miami. “So why should students have to worry about where they parked their car and whether it will be there?”

Other students feel that it is hard enough trying to find a parking space on campus without worrying about getting a ticket.

“Towing is ridiculous. I think that tickets are unnecessary because parking is limited on campus,” said Jennifer Harris, 20, a bio-chemistry student from Chicago.

Students have an option to appeal the parking tickets after they are given out.

“A lot of people don’t appeal tickets because they don’t care,” said David Louis, an industrial engineering student form Miami. “I don’t have money to give out like that. There is really no place you can park without a decal.”

Louis said that every time he appealed one of his tickets he won because he was not in violation.

Later on, Louis said that a group of students from the Student Government Association asked him to give his point of view, and then they decided whether he should pay the ticket.

Many students may not want to be bothered with the long appeal process so other students offer some advice.

“As soon as you get it, you better pay it,” said Dennis Foster, 20, a math student from Miami.

Students who are unsure about the amount of tickets they have should contact the parking services.

Contact Sarah Chester at