Parking on the University of South Dakota campus can become either a pleasant and convenient experience or a horrible one full of hefty fines.
Having the opportunity to work with the university’s ticketing officers last semester really opened my eyes up to some of the things people will try to do to get away with while parking on campus.
The tickets I took the most displeasure in writing were the ones that could have easily been avoided, which were most of them.
To avoid the perils of parking on campus there are two things that you need to be aware of: where you park and how you park.
Paying the campus’ parking permit fee doesn’t guarantee you the right to park wherever. There are rules, so I advise you follow them or you’ll end up paying a lot of fines.
Every campus lot has a sign at its opening describing which permits are allowed in the lot.
If the sign reads Visitor Parking Only and you park there, you will get a ticket. The only exception to this rule is if you park at a parking meter and pay the meter fee.
Taking down your permit to make it look like you are a visitor doesn’t work. I’ve tried it, ended up paying $30.
The next types of signs are the A or B Permits Required signs. A permits are for those living off-campus or commuting, while B permits are for those living on-campus.
Again, if you decide to park your car in a lot not designated for your permit, you will get a ticket.
Also make sure your car is parked in a parking spot. Surprisingly, the majority of the tickets I wrote were ones where the vehicle wasn’t parked in a parking spot.
Being aware of how you park your car will also help you avoid getting tickets.
If you need to retake driving education classes to learn how to park, I advise you do so now. The parking police aren’t lenient on people who park over the lines or take up two spots. The dorms are currently over capacity, which means a lot of people need a parking spot. Don’t be that guy or gal who takes up two spots.
Word of advice: Check your car on a regular basis. Just because you don’t use your car to get to class, if you get a ticket and don’t pay it, you’re subject to pay doubled fines.
Playing the ‘can I get away with parking’ game isn’t advised. The ticketing officers won’t be able to check all lots at all times of the day, so you’ll probably end up getting away with a few tickets.
Be smart about where and how you park. The worst thing to make a horrible day worse is a parking ticket. Trust me, this comes from experience.