Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Campus Security ?!?

Yep, this summer has been incredibly busy and not with as much motorcycling as I would have liked - sigh. Early spring we bought a house that is a fixer-upper. It was a lot of work to get it ready for us to move into. Then we had to turn around and tidy up the house we want to sell. We still have projects to finish in the new (to us) house. We also did a lot of camping again this summer. My parents were camp hosting, so we could camp for free. They were right off of a lake. It was beautiful. This summer was a bit cooler then last.

After 20 (something ish, ahem) years I have gone back to college this fall. I don't have a degree and would love to learn more about computers. So I am now working on my Associates in Computer Information Systems. It's a two year degree, but with me working full-time I figure I will be lucky to finish it in 5 years. I get at least 6 projects a week between my two classes. One of them is online and I go to campus for the other after work.

I get out of class this evening and what do I spy? Campus Security scouring my motorcycle and writing notes!!! Another student notices me in my gear and looks at the scene at my motorcycle and quickly puts 2 and 2 together as I quickly speed up my steps. I walk up to my bike and ask what's the problem.

You see, I'm parked in motorcycle parking and I had checked that I don't need any parking passes for my motorcycle or car. So I just can't figure out what he could be upset about. From a distance I could see him taking notes about the front of my bike, inspecting my helmet, gas tank, sides and then writes down my license plate number. My first thought was "did I remember to put my new tags on my license plate" and yes I'm sure I did. I was then trying to figure out if I had parked wrong. By now I'm at my bike.

He quickly backs away when he hears my voice and figures out I'm the owner. One look at me and he says there's no problem now that he sees who the owner of my motorcycle is. He does ask me what time I get out of class and what time I left campus on Monday. Seems a few motorcycles left campus at about 70 mph in a 25 mph zone. I had actually drove my car on Monday, but had noted that quite a few motorcycles were parked on Monday. Tonight it's just me and two others (one on each side of me). He informed me that he had their information and they were in a lot of trouble for speeding. I ask him how does he know that they were the ones and he give me this "Oh, I know" speech. I ask him what time it happened and he said around 8pm. It's dark at that time.

He then asks me what is the sticker on one of my front forks. I tell him it's a military base sticker. He asks me which base and I tell Peterson (just like it says on the sticker, lol). Seems he does ride motorcycles and gives me some advice about winter driving, which I already know. We chat a little longer and I get out of town fast (a, slow that is - at 25 mph). I tell my husband he does have my info and I hope I don't ever get notified of "reckless indangerment," as I believe the guy called it he was ticketing the others for. Not sure I want to park in motorcycle parking anymore now on campus. It is closer to the door then I could get with my car, but not sure it's worth the other hassles.

I just don't think he has a leg to stand on. Wish I knew the other motorcyclist so I could hear how it pans out. They weren't officially clocked or followed. They were just observed from afar, as far as I can tell. Not sure how legal his tickets are. He says maybe they will slow down if points are taken off their drivers license. Can he do that?!? I'm doubting it. He lets me know he has their license plate numbers and VIN numbers (mine too as I saw him take it!) He assures me I'm okay and not considered one of the speeders, so time will tell. He had me guilty at first just because I was parked in motorcycle parking. If I hadn't walked up, he was going after me too. Seeings how I wasn't even there Monday when it happened, makes me wonder how well he could see anyone if he was going to blame me too. Hmmmm...

Wishing you exciting driving stories in your part of the world,

Biker Betty :)

14 comments:

Giest said...

I didn't think security had the right to ding your license like that. Up here they can give you a kind of "pretend" ticket. You can either pay it or not, no detriment to your driving record.

Balisada said...

Hi,

I ride a Honda Rebel, and also work as a secretary in Campus Security for a Community College.

Security takes speeding seriously because it's a safety issue as well as a trend that needs to be nipped before it gets out of hand.

The tickets that are written by Campus Security should only be a 'campus thing', unless the officer is a sworn police officer from a law enforcement agency. Then it's a whole different story that probably ends up in traffic court.

Generally, if the rotating light that is stopping you is yellow, then it's campus security, and if it's red and blue, it's a sworn police officer.

So, getting a ticket from campus security means that the state or local court system, and more importantly, the DMV, will most likely never hear of your ticket. (I think traffic offenses have to happen in the police officers presence, but don't quote me on that.)

Failure to pay to the college or university means that there will be some kind of loss of privileges. It could simply be a bill that is mailed to you and unpaid will go to collections, or it could be a hold on your registration privileges until the bill is settled. It will usually NOT go on the DMV.

If the Security person you were talking to was a sworn police officer doing an investigation at the college's request (and I would not be surprised if campus security asked the local constabulary to investigate, 70 in a 25, is in my opinion reckless driving) then points could come off of a license as a result of a ticket written, because some smaller community colleges don't have a security presence, and depend on the local police.

Your best option is to wander over to Security and inquire.

If you politely ask if a ticket written by Campus Security will show up on your official DMV driving record, (but it sounds to me like the officer you spoke with was just expressing some wishful thinking).

Hope this helps.

Ta!

Balisada

Biker Betty said...

Hi Giest, sounds like Balisada has great info. I know they can at least hold grades and such if fines are put on people.

Balisada, Thanks for the info. My main complaint is that he was going to ticket me just because I was parked in motorcycle parking on a Wednesday and he's figuring those from Monday are taking classes Wednesday too.

75 in a 25 is excessive and reckless, but I wasn't there!! I had left over an hour earlier in a "car." So if he was going to ticket me, how does he even really know if those other two motorcycles were really the culprits? There were a lot of motorcycles on campus Monday evening.

I'm questioning his reliability as a witness to the actual culprits. Yea, get the ones who speed, but get the "right" ones. He had decided that everyone parked in motorcycle parking was guilty and how professional and accurate is that?!? He was just after revenge, not proper justice.

Balisada said...

I have been riding a motorcycle to work for the past two years, and the one thing I found out right at once, is that there are a whole lot of motorcycles at a college.

I also found out that they tend to be the same folks.

So looking at what is parked in motorcycle parking on a Wednesday is a pretty logical assumption, since folks tend to drive or ride consistently (Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes).

However, in order to issue a citation to you, they have to reasonably believe the following three things:

It was your motorcycle that was being ridden.

It was actually you on the motorcycle.

You were in fact actually going 70 miles per hour (or faster than 25mph).

The speed issue is probably a non issue, since witnesses may not be able to state just how fast the motorcycles were going, they will be able to state how long it took the motorcycle to get from point a to point b and the speed can be calculated from there (just wander over to the math department, any instructor will be able to assist with the math).

The issue about who was riding the motorcycle is sort of an issue, since the college will argue that you are are responsible for your vehicle.

But, as to if it was your motorcycle one of the ones being ridden.

To the untrained eye, most motorcycles look alike. Even the jackets are similar. I saw a jacket exactly like mine except that it was a different brand.

So he probably was collecting plates of the bikes in motorcycle parking. It's part of the investigative process.

But I would be surprised if he was going to give all the motorcycles a ticket. It's bad publicity for the college.

Colleges really don't like bad publicity.

All it takes is one person (or even all the motorcyclists that day) to complain with their lawyer♠s to the Vice President of Student Affairs that all the motorcycles were unfairly profiled and ticketed because someone else on a similar motorcycle was racing out of the college parking lot . . .

But I don't recommend that.

It could turn out bad for you somehow (if you show up with a lawyer, folks tend to lose all flexibility).

If they issue tickets, then they should have a mechanism for due process.

At my Community College, about once each term, all the citation appeals are heard by a committee (colleges LOVE committee's by the way) of 2 students, 2 staff members, and 1 faculty. After hearing the complaintant, they have the ability to let the citation stand as is, completely voiding the citation and anywhere in between. Except that Security doesn't have to call witnesses so you can't cross examine them♦.

Yours should have something similar. Otherwise, you are being deprived of your due process. That's why you are allowed to take a citation given to you by a sworn police officer to court by pleading not guilty.

As for his reliability as a witness, in all actuality, he would only be reliable if he actually saw the motorcycles. Otherwise, it's an unverified report from someone (two or more someones or a faculty or staff member might carry a bit more weight). If he was taking notes on all the motorcycles, then most likely the description was rather vague but included a jacket and helmet color.

I would be surprised if pictures exist, since it would be difficult to whip out a camera and take a picture of a motorcycle speeding away or toward you at 70mph.

If parking lot cameras exist, then I am left to wonder why he bothered writing down the plate in person when you met him, since the footage should be easily used to run the plates of the motorcycles as they were parked in the parking lot (Unless they are crappy cameras that you see in convenience stores that are all grainy).

I suspect that he is more bark than bite, since there is probably no evidence other than witness descriptions.

If they ran all the plates, they could then call all the similar motorcyclists in for a chat. That is most certainly within their rights.

Or they could send a strongly worded letter to all the motorcycle owners parked in motorcycle parking. A bit tacky in my mind, but possible.

By the way, unless they are sworn police officers (that would be an actual police officer) they can tell you that your tags are expired, but unless having expired vehicle tags are somehow against college policy, they cannot actually cite you for it. If they do, then I would ask to see where it says that having expired tags is against college policy. (Which will then probably prompt them to show a statement that says something like "All visitors to the campus shall at all times adhere to all local, state and federal laws". Darn. That's petty.)

Gee whiz, I sure am gabby.

Balisada

Mustang said...

whew ! that sure must have been a very interesting experience.. some people do that " i know it all" speech and they get to blame someone cos they are nt able to get a hold of the actual speeders.. and so every biker is generalised.

But glad to hear that there was no major trouble for you adn things are good as they ought to be.
Kudos on the aim to get back to college. 5 years eh? thats quite a time to be in college, but you never know how they just pass by.

Thanks so much for your encouraging words about my engagement. As i recall during my days of " not so happy" times, you did suggest me to stay tight and im glad i did..

Ride safe betty. God bless

D

Dawn said...

It was so great to hear from you! I love that you are going back to school! That is so cool! I think cops are going to try to get motorycle riders where ever they are.....

Biker Betty said...

Balisada,

Thanks for all the advise. So far I haven't heard anything, but it could take a while.

Hi Mustang,

Again, Congratulations!!! I wish you both the best. I know it was hard during the lonely times of being single. We've all been there and it's no fun. My 20 year old son is going thru it now and somewhat bitter about it. It's hard for him when all his friends have girlfriends and he's left out.

Yea, I figure it could take me about 5 years to complete a 2 year degree with a full-time job. Some people tell me they have done it quicker, but they had a few semesters they went crazy with the load. I just can't handle that, so will take it steady. I figure about 2 classes a semester and maybe one or two in the summer.

Hi Dawn,

Thanks for the encouraging words. I'm pretty excited to be going back to school.

Earl Thomas said...

I plan to go back to school here in the future also. Not full time though. I only plan to take a few of the classes that I wasn't able to enjoy twenty years ago because of the difficulty of my major.

College wasn't that fun for me when I was a kid, this time around I intend to enjoy it.

Ride Well

E.T.

irondad said...

Firstly, good for you on going back to school!

Secondly, continue to ride prudently and things will work out. It's just a shame that there's folks on bikes being so selfish and irresponsible.

Jovita said...

Congrats on going back to school, good for you. I know you've been really busy lately and I'm not sure if you would like to play a little tag game... if so check out my blog for details. See you at the next MSR event ~ jovi

Bill said...

Kind of creepy story. I suggest that the next time he throws his weight around you tell him that if he doesn't chill the NEXT person he'll be chatting with is your lawyer.

You have a great blog and I enjoyed reading thru it this morning. How do I contact you? I would love for you to check out my social networking site that is "female friendly" (in other words is interested in genuine female riders as opposed to groupies). Sorry for the public "plug" but I couldn't find any contact links on your blog.

agirlwithacomputer said...

There have been so many new “bikers” hit the road due to the hike in gas prices, heck even your mother may be riding at least a scooter and grandpa could have very likely just purchased a Harley Davidson. Your Christmas list may be full of new bikers, old bikers, and ones who are considering becoming bikers. When you are looking for a great gift this Christmas and want it to be unique and fin, you may want to check out www.ironhorsehelmets.com for some of their great items, helmet bling and helmet hair. You can encourage your loved ones to wear their helmets by gifting them with a fun and attractive helmet Mohawk. Most accidents are caused by other motorists not noticing the motorcyclists, so help them out and add some bling and some wild and fin hair to their helmet, that will to say the very least…get them noticed. We all love to give gifts that will not only be useful to the recipient but be fun and unique as well, helmet hair and helmet bling will no doubt be unique and is always fun. You will find very affordable and creative gift ideas at www.ironhorsehelmets.com for the ones you love and even for yourself.

online casino said...

glad to hear you being back in school. yeah, there are really stuffs going on the road without us expecting it. just continue to drive safely!

Baron's Life said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours.
Enjoyed your posts this year and looking forward to continue doing so in 2009
All the Best