Updated Sept. 1, 2020 at 12:22 a.m. to include video with student reactions.
The town of Elon Police has implemented a new policy in which they began towing cars with more than one existing parking ticket, which began on Aug. 17.
According to the town of Elon Police Chief, Kelly Blackwelder, this is due to the issue of parking tickets going unpaid. On average the department sees about 150 unpaid tickets each year and in total, they have well over 300 unpaid tickets, totaling over $23,000. This total does not include tickets before 2017, as that year the Board of Aldermen allowed the department to “‘charge’ off” any of the old unpaid parking tickets.
“This was an attempt to clean up the parking records and make it easy to gauge our current past due situation,” Blackwelder wrote.
Video by Brian Rea.
Parking tickets are $25 and then increase to $35 after 15 days. Finally, after 45 days, the tickets increase to the max of $75. If a car would need to be towed, this cost is not included in the cost of the ticket.
The town of Elon Police enforces parking rules on the majority of streets. This includes the Downtown area, while Elon Campus Police parking jurisdiction includes on-campus parking lots.
Blackwelder is unsure how many of the tickets are from Elon University students but believes many are.
“We can say that the vast majority of citations issued for parking are associated with out-of-state registrations,” Blackwelder wrote in an email. “We can make an inference that most of the out-of-state plates are likely students, but not all.”
Blackwelder hopes that this new policy will create less work for the parking enforcement team.
“I am an optimist, so I would love it if our parking enforcement team had NOTHING to do,” Blackwelder wrote. “Realistically, I am just hoping to see a reduction and for folks to pay the tickets in a timely manner to avoid accumulating fines.”