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Fines for Traffic Violations Going Up in 2013

Signs on the PCC campus designate parking areas for employees, students and visitors. Fines for violating the college's traffic regulations will cost more, starting Jan. 1.

WINTERVILLE—At the start of the new year, Pitt Community College police say fines for violating campus traffic regulations will be more expensive.

PCC Police Chief Alan Edwards said this month that in response to an amended state law regarding fines for traffic violations on campus, Pitt trustees revised the college’s 23-year-old traffic ordinance. As a result, fines for parking illegally in a handicap space at PCC will cost $25 per offense while those for operating unregistered vehicles will be $15, he said, adding that the changes take effect Jan. 1.

While Edwards said all other traffic violations will result in $10 fines per offense, he pointed out that violations of North Carolina motor vehicle laws that exceed PCC regulations are subject to the penalties of the appropriate state statutes.

“The North Carolina statute pertaining to the maximum fine for traffic violations on campus was approved in the 1970s and stayed that way until it was amended by the General Assembly in June,” Edwards said. “As a result of that change, which raised the maximum fine from $5 to $25, the PCC Board of Trustees revised the college’s traffic ordinance in October.

“It was pretty clear that the $5 maximum had become outdated and wasn’t a strong enough deterrent to keep people from violating our ordinance.”

Edwards noted that funds PCC collects for traffic violations are sent to the N.C. State Treasurer’s Office. That money, he said, is eventually distributed to local school boards across the state.

Fines for violating PCC’s traffic ordinance must be paid at the college’s cashier’s office within seven days of their issuance. However, those given citations have two academic days to appeal them to PCC’s vice president of administrative services.

Students who refuse to pay for traffic violations at Pitt are not permitted to register for courses until they do. In cases of graduation, they cannot participate in commencement nor receive degrees, diplomas and/or transcripts until all fines are paid.

PCC’s original traffic ordinance was adopted Jan. 25, 1990. Edwards said authority to enforce the regulations is provided through North Carolina statutes.

Edwards said PCC’s traffic ordinance requires all students and employees to promptly register their vehicles with campus police upon joining the college. He said those who register receive numbered decals to display on their vehicles, and he pointed out that the individual to whom a decal is issued is responsible for any violations associated with the vehicle he or she registered.

A parking decal at PCC is considered invalid once it expires, the vehicle to which it is affixed changes ownership, the person to whom the vehicle is registered terminates his or her association with the college, and/or it becomes illegible.

In addition to handicap, visitor and two-wheeled vehicle parking designations, signs on the PCC campus direct employees to park in “A”-designated spaces while students park in “B”-designated spots. A number of spaces on campus are also reserved for special PCC Foundation contributors and United Way supporters, and campus police occasionally issue special parking permits for special events at the college.