Last Wednesday, after it was found that UR Parking and Transportation Services had been illegally booting cars for the past year, the decision was made to stop the practice immediately. While clearly this was a step in the right direction, they need to do much more to rectify the situation.
If members of Parking Services with the ability to influence policy knew that the practice of booting cars in the city of Rochester was illegal over the past 12 months and did nothing to stop the department from placing boots on cars at UR, then they were engaging in a highly questionable act that is both embarrassing to the University and disrespectful to students.
It is possible that those people involved were unaware of the change in the Rochester City Code last September, but that is no excuse. Ignorance of the law is not a viable defense for illegal actions. The members of Parking Services who took part in the decision to boot cars must tell the truth as to what they knew, take responsibility for their actions and work as hard as possible to ensure that something like this never happens again.
All students who had a boot placed on their car were required to contact Parking Services within 24 hours and pay a $50 fee to have the boot removed. This illicit action has unfairly penalized those students who were forced to pay, and Parking has an obligation to return their confiscated money. It may not be worth the legal fees for the students to bring suit for the return of their $50, but Parking should do the right thing regardless.
Director of UR Parking and Transportation Services Glen Sicard would not comment on whether any decision has been made to reimburse students. Such a decision must happen, and it must be soon. The longer Parking Services waits to apologize, the more detrimental the effect of this situation will be on the University’s public standing.