Aric Adams stood in the empty spot where he had parked his Ford Fusion an hour and 20 minutes prior.
He held his head low, confused and furious. With five unpaid parking tickets, accumulating to over $800, Adams’s car was now residing in it’s new home, the car impound.
On August 1, 2011, DC’s DMV initiated the Ticket Amnesty Program, allowing customers to pay older and outstanding parking tickets, without paying additional late fees. Within the Ticket Amnesty Program, those in the district who received parking tickets, moving violations, or a photo enforcement ticket before the date of January 1, 2010 was allowed the opportunity to pay outstanding tickets without penal fees.
However, almost six months later on Jan. 27, the program came to a close. So, the ship to wipe the accumulated ticket slate has sailed.
“Over the past two years, I’ve received at least five tickets,” D’Amber Allen, Howard University sophomore, says furiously.
“I live off of a certain amount of money that goes towards my necessities, and by me having to pay parking tickets because Howard does not offer as much parking as they should, I’m not left with much because the tickets double, adding up to ridiculous amounts,” she said.
Howard University students, Allen and Adams alike were outraged that this program was temporarily implemented, but few students were aware.
According to officials, the Amnesty Program collected $393,647 within the first two weeks of its execution and 7,400 tickets were paid, however how much of this money was from college students?
“When I walk to my car after class, I don’t see silver rims on the cars, I see orange boots. So many students have unpaid parking tickets, it’s like a common car accessory,” said Adams.
“The Amnesty Program was a great incentive for college students to be allowed the chance to save their money to pay their tickets, but it was brought to no one’s attention,” said Jonathan Raspberry, Howard University senior.
“A program that would be a great compromise for both out-of-state students and DC’s Department of Motor Vehicles would be some sort of payment plan,” he said.
Fredricka Ransome, another Howard University senior had to drive her car back home to Richmond, VA because she received three tickets, within two days. “If a payment plan was allotted to us college students, without incorporating the 30-day price increase of tickets, there would be less tickets!” she said.
“As an out-of-state student, not necessarily accustomed to the city life and living off a budget because of my scholarship, my peers and I need some sort of assistance if the severity of these parking violations continue,” said Allen sternly.