EDUCATION

University of Maryland parking tickets: Steep fines, quick tickets dot campus lots

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If you take a walk around the sprawling campus of the University of Maryland in College Park for long enough, it won't be long until you see the familiar flutter of a piece of paper clinging to the windshield of a car.

"I don't want to spend my money on parking tickets," Maryland sophomore Ben McCartney says.

But in College Park, the numbers show that the campus is issuing parking tickets at a staggering rate - at one point, as many as two tickets per student enrolled.

CHART: See how Maryland's parking ticket habit stacks up against other schools, locally and nationally.

In same cases, multiple tickets flutter across cars parked across campus.

According to polls and reviews put on by College Prowler, Maryland issues more tickets than any other university in the country. And, just by looking around, students aren't surprised.

The 75,000 citations the university writes per year are among the most in the country. Maryland also boasts one of the steepest fines, setting parkers back $75 for parking in a non-permit area.

"It's my first semester...three parking tickets," sophomore Becca Zukowski says.

But for senior Haval Salih, the number of citations is extreme. Salih says he has received more than $1,000 worth of tickets while studying at Maryland. He received his most recent one, a $15 citation, just moments before speaking with ABC7.

"They have these pay stations," Salih said, referring to the kiosks parkers can pay at that are stationed throughout the campus. "Before I even walk to the meter...I was getting ticketed."

Freshman Karim Labib is another student that got hit by the quick hands of ticket writers.

"My spot expired at 7:01...I was three minutes late," Labib said about a ticket he recently received.

Campus official say that most of the people who get tickets at the university are repeat offenders.

"Generally, 80 percent of the tickets issued are issued to 10 percent of the folks," Director of Transportation Services David Allen says.

Allen says that heavy enforcement is needed to make sure that those paying for permits, which can reach into the hundreds of dollars each, always have a spot.

"Fines are not supposed to be affordable," Allen said. "If a violation was $5, why not try it?"

College Prowler gives Maryland a "C" grade when it comes to parking on campus.

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