Madison Bailey, Correspondent
The Jacksonville State University police officially began issuing parking citations for all traffic offenses on campus as of Tuesday, Sept. 8, after a two week grace period.
“The four-zone system reserved parking for different zone colors, and it’s more of a first come first serve base system with the two-zone,” said Rob Schaffer, the chief of university police.
The new two-decal parking system, which replaced the old four-decal parking system, designates a silver zone for students and a red zone for faculty and staff.
According to Schaffer, the primary reason for the two-week grace period was to provide enough time for everyone to learn the new system. The university employed a two-zone parking system over a decade ago, and UPD decided it was time to try the system again.
“Based on feedback from students, we felt like this was a good opportunity for us to try this system,” said Schaffer.
Schaffer mentioned that it is difficult to gage how effective the new parking system is so far due to classroom situations and COVID-19 protocols.
“We haven’t really seen the full impact as of yet,” he said. “As far as change, I think timing-wise it serves the changing of the guard, so to speak, and we haven’t had a whole lot of issues so far.”
Schaffer noted that the parking system is important for multiple reasons, not just for parking purposes.
“The parking system itself is partially for giving people an area to park, but another thing that puts value into our parking system is that it helps us on the UPD side of things to know what vehicles are supposed to be on campus,” he explained.
There are a variety of traffic offenses in which parking citations can be issued. There are several violations, such as no parking decal or parking in the wrong zone, that result in a $25 citation. Violations in which someone parks in a reserved parking spot can result in a $100 citation. Multiple offenses of this nature can increase the amount of the initial citation.
Other traffic offenses include speeding, running a stop sign, failing to yield, not wearing a seatbelt and driving the wrong way on a one-way street.
Parking decals can be purchased on MyJSU through the “Student Parking Decals” link. Decals can be purchased for $25 and will arrive through the mail within two or three weeks after purchase. Students will receive a temporary parking decal by email that should be printed and used until the official decal arrives.
Faculty, staff and students who have a J-Tag can obtain a parking decal for free by ordering one online and picking it up at Salls Hall, the university’s police department.
The updated UPD parking rules and regulations can be found at http://jsu.edu/police/traffic.html.