THIBODAUX, La (AP) -- Nicholls State University is giving the boot to motorists who rack up five or more outstanding parking tickets on campus.
The campus is cracking down on repeat offenders by attaching metal clamps or boots to car wheels, immobilizing them. The only way to get if off is to have Nicholls security remove it, and that won't happen until violators pay up.
"Booting a vehicle is new to the university. This is a proactive measure," Craig Jaccuzzo, who heads campus police, told Houma Today (http://bit.ly/p50UWQ).
Jaccuzzo said change was made because some students were racking up as many as 10 tickets, in some cases creating thousand-dollar debts.
"I don't think it's healthy for the university or the student to have these kinds of debts," he said.
Campus parking fines are $50. Late fees kick in after 20 days.
Students can choose to pay off their first two tickets with campus-based community service.
The change isn't meant to generate money, Jaccuzzo said, but to teach students a lesson.
"This forces students to be responsible and handle their business," he said. "We're trying to teach the consequences you face in life when you break the rules."
The boots will be used on any car with five outstanding violations -- that includes faculty, staff and visitors.
Jaccuzzo said the school has booted eight cars already this semester.
Nicholls issues tickets to vehicles parked in areas for which they don't have the proper permit, as well as for violations for state and federal traffic laws.
Students on campus last week deemed the policy was fair.
"If you know the rules and you abide by them, this won't happen to you," said Sarah Kees, an English junior from Thibodaux.
Kees said Nicholls is short on parking. She also said the rules for who can park where sometimes elude students.
"To figure out where you have to park, you have to get a map, and I don't think a lot of students take the time to look at it," she said.