Written By: Marquez Slaughter
Finding a parking spot on campus may be a problem for students, faculty, staff and visitors, but misusing unpermitted parking spots and permits on campus has become an issue that has caught the attention of the University Police Department.
Scott Doner, director of UPD, sent out an email on Sept. 8 to students, faculty and staff informing the university that they have received complaints about individuals misusing disabled parking permits.
Georgia law states that it is unlawful for anyone to park any vehicle in a handicapped parking space unless he or she has a valid parking permit or a disabled parking permit attached to the specially designated license plate or hung from the rearview mirror of the parked vehicle.
“It is really a shame that someone would abuse this law by falsely using a permit and taking away a parking spot form a person that really needs it,” Doner said.
UPD wants to keep the campus as safe and comfortable as possible, and in order to do so, UPD has to follow Georgia’s laws.
Some commuters try to get parking spots as close to main campus as possible and misuse the 45-minute parking spots by parking their vehicle over that limited time or breaking the law by parking in a handicapped parking spot.
According to Niche.com, a website that provides student polls and reviews of a certain school, some anonymous students commented on the parking at VSU. The majority of the comments focused on the distance between the parking spots and the students’ classes.
An anonymous VSU senior on the website said, “Valdosta is very fair when it comes to the parking tickets and fines.” This individual also said, “I wish the school would make their parking lots larger and more convenient.”
Based off 14 responses on Niche.com, 50 percent said that staff, 45-minute or visitor parking spots were the worst places to find parking on campus.
According to the director of parking and transportation, Jill Ferrell, there were 223 disabled parking citations issued to students, faculty and staff last year.
This year there have only been 19 citations issued for disabled parking.
“Parking will continue to issue citations to vehicles that display disabled parking permits [that are] listed in someone else’s name,” Ferrell said. “We will also continue to issue citations to vehicles that do not display a valid disabled parking permit while parked in a disabled space.”
UPD plans to do the same as the parking and transportation department, but Doner says that a vehicle may also be impounded if it is in an undesignated spot.