So do you have to pay those parking tickets or not?

Tickets might not keep you from graduating or wreck your credit, but they could get you towed

Taking the risk and not paying could mean a ticket, but the question, according to a CBC, is “do you really have to pay them?” (Jared MacArthur/The Omega)

Taking the risk and not paying could mean a ticket, but the question, according to a CBC, is “do you really have to pay them?” (Jared MacArthur/The Omega)

Parking tickets at TRU may not hold up in court, according to a recent CBC News report, but the university stresses that the alternative to parking tickets is an even more expensive option – towing, something the associate director of facilities and services at TRU, Warren Asuchak says would benefit the towing companies more than anyone else.

“Tow companies would love that. We would just have six to eight tow trucks on campus and anyone that didn’t pay would just get towed,” Asuchak said.

Towing, however, is the last thing Asuchak would like to have to do in his position and he thinks that students should just pay the fee or find alternatives to parking on campus.

He says one common complaint he hears from students is that they don’t believe it’s fair to be paying every day when some people are not paying and getting away with it.

The “lottery” as Asuchak described it, is when students go as many days as possible without paying for parking with the hope that they will get away with it and save money in the long run. He added that it is possible because there is a limited number parking enforcement employees patrolling lots.

The recent CBC report quotes Toronto lawyer, John Weingust, saying that ticketing companies like Imperial Parking (Impark) do not have the legal power to follow up on the tickets they are giving out on private lots, unless they decide to take them to small claims court.

But, Weingust said, the chances of a company following through and going after the tickets for such a small amount is highly unlikely.

Unpaid tickets from a company like Impark that are given on private lots also won’t affect your credit score, according to the CBC report.

When asked how this applies to TRU, Asuchak said he has consulted with the university’s lawyers and they have assured him that the university does have the right to ticket people and or tow the vehicle after multiple infractions.

Asuchak says that he is worried that the information about ticketing will embolden students who already choose not to pay, and may influence others too.

It is also a common misconception that a parking violation (or a whole semester’s worth) will hold students back from walking across the stage at their graduation convocation. But, Asuchak says that students will not be held back from graduating if there are outstanding Impark tickets.

With over 2,000 parking stalls on campus, parking at TRU is a significant source of revenue for the university, but with lots being taken up by new construction and the legitimacy of ticketing in question, Asuchak said that it’s unclear what the future of parking on campus will be years from now.

For the time being, however, Impark will still patrol the parking lots of TRU, issuing tickets and towing vehicles when necessary.