University of Richmond’s Parking Services added a new wheel lock policy to the campus parking regulations this year.
Parking Services may place a wheel lock on an unregistered vehicle that has received four citations or if the owner of a registered vehicle has been sent an unregistered memo, according to the regulations.
If a vehicle gets booted, the owner is responsible for the citations and registration fee if they plan to continue parking on campus, according to the policy.
Faculty, staff, students and visitors can register their vehicles online and registrations are processed on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vehicles on campus should display an updated permit for the 2022-2023 academic year by Aug. 21 to be considered registered, according to the policy.
A vehicle that has a wheel lock for more than 10 days may be towed off campus at the owner’s expense, according to the policy.
Parking Services introduced the wheel lock policy in response to the significant number of unregistered vehicles parked on campus last year, said Natalia Green, director of parking and transportation services.
“We had a lot of unregistered cars on campus that we believe were students, but we couldn’t get them to register their cars,” Green said. “So, the only option we would have is to tow the cars off campus. So, we decided not to tow, but we had to come up with another solution.”
Senior Jean Azar-Tanguay said the use of wheel locks was not an ideal solution, but she appreciated that the new policy included a tiered system, so drivers had several chances to register their vehicle before receiving one.
“As for booting, I don’t love the severity of it, but it would effectively solve the issue because you can’t drive until you talk to someone and at least explain what’s going on and why your car isn’t registered,” Azar-Tanguay said.
Senior Liv Clayton raised concerns about the limited amount of time the policy allowed drivers to get a wheel lock removed.
“If they’re going to start putting wheel locks on cars, then they should hire a third-party company that’s open 24 hours a day to do it instead because I think it’s unfair to potentially lock someone’s car up for an entire weekend,” Clayton said.
Students also shared different perspectives about the potential impacts the policy would have on visitors who regularly parked on campus.
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“Another plus in my mind is people who visit campus who repeatedly take student spots will be forced to confront Parking Services,” Azar-Tanguay said. “It’s never fun to have student spaces taken up by unregistered cars.”
Alternatively, Clayton said it can be difficult for Parking Services to tell if a vehicle belongs to a visitor or a student.
“There are hardly any clearly marked visitor parking spaces on campus,” Clayton said. "So, what if someone is visiting campus every day and the school gets confused and locks up a random person’s car thinking it’s a student who is trying to avoid registering their car – It could be bad.”
Contact news writer Katie Castellani at email@example.com.
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