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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    New photo radar to catch speeding in garages

    Parking and Transportation Services is using photo radar to catch speeders in parking garages this semester, a move that many students call frustrating.

    In addition to raising permit prices for the 2006-2007 school year, PTS will also be cracking down on violations, particularly speeding, in parking garages.

    Patrick J. Kass, director of PTS, said results from a survey pointed to the need for stronger enforcement of speed limits and other posted regulations.

    “”We are trying to be open and upfront about the new safety measures and want to remind students that there will be strict enforcement of the posted regulations – no exceptions,”” Kass said.

    PTS employees will be using handheld photo radar detectors to gun perpetrators. Like the speed-trap cameras being used on freeways, the radar detectors will take a picture that will be sent with the citation via e-mail or standard mail.

    Unlike stationary photo radar, said Kass, the $50 citation will be given to the registered driver of the car, not the person who was driving the car at the time of the infraction.

    Also, the ticket is an administrative citation, so it does not assess points to the driver’s license as with a normal moving violation.

    Nicole Leetch, an education junior whose car was rear-ended in a garage last year, says she thinks using the radar will help cut back on recklessness in parking garages.

    “”People are in a rush to get to class, so you hear a lot of screeching brakes and people get going pretty fast down the ramps coming out of the garage,”” she said.

    Leetch said she opted for a Zone 1 permit this semester “”because the prices are just too high – it’s a month of rent just for a parking pass.””

    Kass said although the new program is an “”unexpected expenditure”” that costs more than originally planned, it is all funded through parking fees and within the budget.

    There is no correlation between the increase in permit price and the new program, Kass said.

    Denise Burgess, a graduate student of English who paid $470 for her Highland Avenue Parking Garage permit, said she believes the increase in speeding tickets is PTS’ attempt to raise more revenue.

    Derek Juergens, a journalism sophomore, said in the past two years he has not seen any “”close calls”” regarding safety issues in the garages.

    Juergens also said he will be carpooling with his roommate to decrease parking costs.

    “”There is no way I’m paying $400,”” Juergens said.

    Data from the survey found no instances of pedestrians being hit inside garages.

    Kass said that the survey was based on numerous comments and complaints and included physical observations of speed in garages as well as cars driving the wrong way and running stop signs.

    In one instance, a car was clocked going 29 mph, which Kass called “”a tremendously unsafe speed to be driving in a parking garage.””

    PTS will be circulating informational flyers and posting new signs in and around garages to raise awareness about the new photo radar detectors.

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