Universe staff: New BYU parking regulations use technology backwards


BYU is leaving $60 parking tickets on the windshields of faculty and staff members’ vehicles. In many cases the problem isn’t the car as much as the driver having to remember to update the university’s parking app.

The Daily Universe newsroom applauds the desire to make parking more equitable, but the intricacies of the policy creates unintended problems. 

Originally, staff members were allowed to register up to three cars at a time, even though only one could be parked on campus at a time. This allowed BYU employees some flexibility because they weren’t restricted to taking the same car to work every day.

According to statistics taken in 2016 by Governing, the average household in Provo has two vehicles. The previous policy was helpful to staff members because many households have more drivers than cars, and a BYU employee might not bring the same vehicle to campus every day.

On March 1, BYU updated its employee parking policy and changed the three-car registration rule. Now, an employee can register multiple cars but must update the campus parking app each time they change cars. For employees who forget to make the vital switch, their car is treated as unregistered and is ticketed.

University Police Sgt. Wade Raab said the change was made because employees were allowing family members to use their parking privileges, which took spots away from staff members and actual faculty.

Raab said BYU police knew this was happening because they were receiving multiple phone calls about “young-looking people” using faculty parking. Technology on parking enforcement cars is able to read license plates to check vehicles against a database of campus-registered owners. University Police said parking officers investigated the complaints by testing all of the employee lots and confirmed some employees had more than one vehicle on campus.

Since the university changed the rule and cracked down on violators, Raab said there has been an improvement in the number of parking spots available. 

Staff members at The Universe can understand the university’s reasoning for wanting to reduce violations.

However, making faculty get online and switch from car to car or risk a ticket is not the answer. The Universe believes such an innovative university can do better. Instead of making employees update their registration each time they switch cars, the technology University Police have available should be used to find the multiple-car violations, like in the parking lot test, and ticket those violators.

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