WCU hikes citation fees

Students and visitors to the Western Carolina University campus, whether in a car or on roller skates, will soon have a few dollars more of incentive to follow the school’s rules governing vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The WCU Board of Trustees approved an increase for a number of citation fees during its March 7 meeting. 


“The main purpose for the increase is to foster compliance,” said Trustee Ed Broadwell, chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee, just before the board’s unanimous affirmative vote. 

The fees have not been increased since 2005. Much of the money collected via the citations goes to the state to be used within the public education system, while WCU may request to retain up to 20 percent to cover administrative costs.

According to WCU Police Chief Ernie Hudson, the university issued approximately 2,650 citations in 2013. During the 2012-2013 academic year, the total dollar amount of the citations was $132,473.20; of that total, the university retained $26,494.64.

Although WCU does not keep track of the breakdown of citations issued, Hudson said the most frequent offenses cited were parking in an unauthorized area and parking without a permit.

Come July, many violations — such as parking in a reserved space, parking in a no parking zone, parking on the grass and parking in a barricaded area —  will see $10 increases, rising from $40 to $50. 

There are also bigger jumps. Violations related to skateboarding, roller skating, bicycling, jaywalking, loud music and disobeying a traffic sign or officer will double, going from $25 to $50. Citations for improperly displayed parking permits will increase from $10 to $50, while citations for expired short-term and metered parking will go from $15 to $50.

Other infractions, most in the $100-or-above range, will remain unchanged. It will still be a $100 fee for illegally reproducing a parking permit, or $250 for unlawfully parking in a handicap space. 

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