Ticket hysteria

Raechel Fittante, Features Editor
Raechel Fittante, Features Editor

How many people have accidentally rolled a little too confidently past the La Verne Police station after noon, neglected to park their car in a space on campus with all four tires completely within the two solid lines, or even worse, left their car parked outside on one of La Verne’s quiet, shady streets after 2 a.m.?

If any one or all of these hypothetical situations sound familiar, people may be a victim of “ticket hysteria,” a common plague of the La Verne area, sponsored in part by the La Verne Police Department, the University’s neighbor and friend.

Ticket hysteria is a contagious disease running rampant in most of the cities along Foothill Blvd., but in little La Verne it is especially out of control. One can often just glance at any of the few crammed, tiny parking lots at ULV and see an officer of the law cruising through at drive-by speed, methodically scanning license plates, looking for expired registration tags or broken tail lights. Have they no shame?

Maybe the officers figure that if La Verne students can afford to pay astronomical fees to go to college, they can certainly afford to register their cars, pay for insurance and fix up their cars to meet the legal guidelines of the road—La Verne’s road. If students do not pay their registration, insurance, etc., then they will be forced to pay tickets until they do.

It is not uncommon for ULV students to walk innocently to their cars after a long day of classes to find small presents in the shape of tickets on the windshields, price tags attached and all.

Totally unaware of the strict traffic law they have broken while sitting in class, the students are then forced to take important time out of their busy schedules to go to the Police Department and pay the tickets, usually $20 or more, within the time allotted, or wait until the time to pay the tickets has expired, in which the tickets take on a menacing, personified form, growing in dollar amount by the 20s until it eats away their pocketbooks.

There are even those few people who view La Verne’s lame traffic laws as an attempt to force people into conformity, and refuse to pay tickets as a matter of principle. They often find out months later that it is very expensive to be such an individual in this day and age.

Tickets of all kinds have the amazing ability to skyrocket to amounts in the hundreds within a matter of months. In La Verne, it is a sad truth most drivers have to bear. Even those drivers with formerly unscathed, unmarked and beautiful driving records can eventually find themselves criminals, plunged into the pit of civil offense and/or misdemeanor.

But think about it—are they criminals or victims of ticket hysteria? How can students and residents be expected to know each little amendment to the traffic code the City of La Verne has implemented when no one tells them?

Was someone supposed to take La Verne drivers aside and whisper it in their ears? These are things that are not taught in driver’s education classes, not even traffic school for that matter—for those who have been there, that is.

Perhaps La Verne students just have to become street smart while maneuvering their vehicles down these wild La Verne streets or when parking in one of the holy spaces. Ticket hysteria may not be going anywhere, it has been going on for years.

Could there possibly be options to change the system, or is ticket hysteria right up there with plea bargaining?

The solution might actually lie in giving LVPD something else, anything else, to do besides give traffic tickets.

But then again, maybe not.

Perhaps ticket hysteria is here to stay. It almost seems like an even price to pay for the maintenance of such a safe, quiet, low-crime area like La Verne, with its shady streets and perfectly clear curbs. Almost.

Raechel Fittante, Managing Editor
Raechel Fittante
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