Bicycle violaters will be punished

Chris Culver, 21, first-year Santa Monica College student, said he guessed that he would be upset, if he returned to his bicycle and a chain with a courtesy note attached that read, he had to call Santa Monica College Campus Police to come and unlock his bike.

"Many students find themselves in this situation because they neglect to follow the rules and park their bikes in designated areas." said officer Mike Champagne, Santa Monica College Police liaison.

Even though the penalty is not costly, just time consuming, students are still expected to obey the rules.

According to the rules and regulations on campus, Officer Champagne said, students are more suspected for not using common sense than bike violations.

In some situations students have left their bikes in handicap spaces as well as the library walkway. Both of these areas are restricted to bicycle parking.

However, there is no fine from the campus for this, just a impound courtesy that directs you to the SMCPD.

When you find your bike in this predicament, go to SMCPD and let them know. They will then assist you in taking the chains off.

According to Officer Champagne the vehicle code requires students to wear head protection if you are under 15.

However, Culver said an officer told him those over 18 are not required to wear a helmet. Though you do not want to take your chances.

An article published by the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute reported over 800 people killed on bikes in the United States every year and half a million end in up in emergency rooms.

Head protection is not the only protection you need. A website vested in the business of scams teaching those how to sell stolen bikes is more than enough reason to lock your bike up.

But whether you are stealing a bike or neglecting to lock it up, violations of any kind will not be tolerated.

Too many notices of violations may earn a visit to the Dean of Student Affairs, Judith Penchansky.

Penchansky handles campus violations dealing with a range of issues from smoking on campus to skateboards and student misconduct.

Unlike bikes, skateboards and skates are banned from campus, costing almost $100 in fines if caught in violation.

Culver laughed in embarrassment to think that students parked their bikes in buildings when there are obvious bike racks where you may park them.

Culver, a Santa Monica resident, said he parks his car on Cloverfield and rides the rest of the way to the college.

With very few penalties and no parking passes to spend $75 on, Santa Monica residents are getting the best deal by riding a bike.

"Waiting for a parking spaces, not being guaranteed a spot, people are just lazy." said Miranda Collins, 20, a first-year student who does not live far from campus.

When students get too many parking tickets the city places a boot on their car, which is not removed unless the student pays the tickets and the fine.

But a bike impound does not seem half as bad, when you do not have the wait