Perils of reckless racing in parking lots at Pierce

The consequences to breaking parking lot rules on campus.

Lacey Longpre


On average, Pierce College Puyallup students are issued eight to 10 tickets per week for reckless driving in the parking lots.

Maureen Rickertsen, sergeant-supervisor for campus security at Pierce College Puyallup, gave this estimate for daytime students. Rickertsen said the largest offense students commit is speeding.

“The majority of them (students) go over 30 mph,” Rickertsen said.

Many students’ excuse for speeding in the parking lot’s 10 mph parking lot zones is that they’re late for class. Rickertsen suggests to such students that they should leave their homes earlier to avoid being late.

The fee for speeding in the parking lot ranges from $5 to $25. A student may also lose parking privileges up to one year.

Rickertsen isn’t the only individual to notice this driving behavior.

Pierce College Puyallup student Nichele Bunch comments that more parking spots may help the problem of speeding because students wouldn’t be competing for only a few spots that are available.

“There needs to be more parking for sure,” Bunch said. “I see a lot of speeding. This is a parking lot—calm down.”

Other students have a different perspective concerning parking lot speeding.

Pierce College Puyallup Running Start student Henry LeMaster said that he has noticed speeding as well, but doesn’t fully agree with the 10 mph limit.

“I think the 10 mph limit is a little strict,” LeMaster said. “I think 25 mph may be more reasonable. After all, there are students trying to get to their classes.”

There may be fewer traffic violations if the ticket fees were higher, according to Rickertsen.

“If you compare the amount other colleges charge compared to what we do, it’s a big difference,” Rickertsen said.

To get this passed, higher fees would have to be approved by the Board of Trustees.

Other traffic infractions include not having a general parking permit, not having a special permit for carpool parking, no placard for handicap parking and parking in non-designated areas.

“I’ve taken time to get a permit, you need to get one too,” Bunch said.

The highest monetary fee a student can incur is $30, a combination of the $25 carpool and the $5 parking permit violation fees. When students don’t pay their dues, they can’t receive financial aid, register for additional classes or graduate.

To enforce regulations, Rickertsen said that security takes different shifts to keep track of what’s happening in the parking lot. She said it helps that the Puyallup police also patrol that area.

Receiving a ticket doesn’t affect student or driving record because it’s confined to the private property of the campus.

Students have the opportunity to get their ticket appealed once a month in front of an appeals committee. Rickertsen said that she attends this for question and answer, but doesn’t vote on the matter.

Rickertsen will meet in March with Matthew Campbell, vice president for learning and student success; Linda Gulbransen, program coordinator of the Puyallup administration and Chris MacKersie, director of facilities and director of safety, to discuss parking issues.

Rickertsen said she also plans to introduce the possibility of adding more speed bumps in the parking lots. She specifically is concerned with the parallel parking area by parking lot C that she has nicknamed “speedway.”

Student can find more information concerning parking and permits at

Student Nicole Winters said, in general, individuals who drive recklessly should think about potential consequences of their actions.

“Take other people into consideration when you’re trying to get somewhere,” Winters said.


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Perils of reckless racing in parking lots at Pierce

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