Traffic violation appeals rising

Jill Fier

Jill Fier

It’s not an unusual sight for SDSU students to see as they walk to and from classes everyday. A UPD officer walks up and down the rows of parking lots checking for parking permits and sticks a ticket under the windshield of every car that doesn’t have one.

Kelli Anawski, Office manager of the University Police Department, said that if students feel their tickets are not fair, they can do something about it. And many students are.

Since September, 180 parking and traffic violation appeals have been filed with the Appeals Committee to determine whether or not to uphold the fines given by the UPD.

That number will soon surpass the number of appeals during the fall and spring semesters of last year, when 198 tickets were scheduled for the committee.

The Appeals Committee is made up of two SDSU students and one faculty member. A UPD officer is also on hand to answer questions about parking and traffic regulations. The Committee meets about once a month, and the scheduled March 19 meeting already has 43 appeals on the agenda.

Anawski said the fees can be as low as $10 for parking in a lot that has been declared as an emergency snow removal lot, or as high as $120 for reckless driving. Most tickets that are written by UPD officers are for $20, though.

In order to appeal a ticket, the recipient must file it with the UPD within 96 hours of getting it. Appeals are at their highest during the first month of the school year when students are still trying to figure out campus parking, and again with winter weather related problems.

Anawski said that most appeals the committee hears are about parking outside marked boundaries, or getting multiple tickets for a single offense. “One we see a lot is when it snows in the morning and people park over marked lines. Then it melts in the afternoon and they’re off and our officers ticket them,” she said.

“There’s nothing we can do about that. The officers are doing their jobs. That’s why they need to be appealed [if there’s a problem.]”

Just because a student is appealing a ticket does not mean that it will be approved, though. Anawski said the recipients of tickets should also be aware that “there is a $10 fee per ticket if your appeal is denied.”

She said the fee is used to make the defendants ask themselves, “Do I really feel I have a valid complaint?”