775  Traffic, Parking, and Safety Enforcement

Approved by Board of Trustees
Effective Date:  September 13, 2022
Responsible Division: Business and Finance
Responsible Office:  Administration
Responsible Officer:  Assistant Vice President, Administration

I.  Purpose

This policy will define Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University) traffic, parking, and safety enforcement. It will facilitate the orderly and efficient flow of traffic on the MTSU campus and property owned by MTSU, endeavor to provide a safe atmosphere for both pedestrians and vehicle operators, and provide order with regard to parking within limited space.

II.  Scope

MTSU reserves the right to regulate the use and/or parking of all vehicles on its campus or on property owned by MTSU in accordance with this policy and to forbid the use of a vehicle by any person whose operation of the vehicle fails to comply with University policies, City of Murfreesboro ordinances, and/or Tennessee state laws pertaining to vehicles.

III.  Definitions

A.  Campus. The main MTSU campus and any additional property owned by the University.

B.  Vehicle. Any self-propelled vehicle, including, but not limited to, automobiles, motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, and golf carts capable of exceeding twenty-five (25) miles per hour over level, paved surfaces.

C.  Visitor. Any person on the campus who is not a current student, member of the faculty, staff, or administration.

IV.  Registration of Vehicles and Parking Permits

A.  All students and employees must register vehicles they park on campus with the MTSU Parking and Transportation Services Office by purchasing a parking permit. Any vehicle parked on campus must display a current and valid parking permit. Failure to do so may result in the issuance of a parking citation.

B.  The acceptance by any person of a parking permit, whether temporary or permanent, shall constitute the acceptance of the rules, policies, ordinances, and/or laws governing the safe and responsible operation and parking of a vehicle on campus.

C.  The cost of parking permits, together with appropriate information sufficient to justify the amount, shall be submitted for review and approval to the MTSU Board of Trustees (Board). Once adopted or amended, parking permit costs, along with requirements, limitations and procedures for securing parking permits, shall be affirmatively communicated to the MTSU faculty, staff, and students through the Parking Services website, and the Traffic and Parking Regulations handbook.

D.  Parking permits may be denied for any student or employee who has outstanding fines from prior semester(s) until they are paid in full. The first citation issued to an employee for an expired parking permit may result in towing of the vehicle.

E.  Parking permits are issued to students only after all registration fees are paid.

F.  The MTSU parking permit must be properly attached to the front windshield in the extreme lower corner on the driver’s side or hung from the rearview mirror of the vehicle with the decal number facing the outside of the vehicle and clearly readable. In those cases where compliance with the above is not feasible, the parking permit must be clearly visible when viewing the vehicle or the parking permit holder must consult with Parking and Transportation Services for proper placement of the parking permit.

G.  The parking permit holder will be responsible for parking violations received by any vehicle bearing his/her parking permit.

H.  It is considered fraudulent for a registered parking permit holder to give his/her parking permit to another person. Parking permits are transferable from vehicle to vehicle provided that the vehicles are registered under the same account. Parking permits are not transferable from person to person. When a parking permit is reported as lost or stolen, but is found in another vehicle on campus, an inquiry will be made into the parking permit. If it is found that an individual reported a parking permit lost or stolen, but in fact gave the parking permit to another individual for use, both parties may be cited with a fine for their actions.

I.  Temporary Parking Permits may be issued to employees, students, and visitors as identified on the Parking Services website.

J.  Visitors, including family members of employees or students, must park at meters or register their vehicles with Parking and Transportation Services by obtaining a temporary parking permit. Failure to comply may result in the vehicle being issued a "No Campus Permit" citation, and the fine may not be waived.

K.  Disabled Parking Permits. Any person, whether student or employee, may apply for disabled parking privileges.

1.  To obtain an MTSU Disabled Parking Permit, persons must have a state-issued disabled license plate or placard and must provide proof of its ownership.

2.  Temporary disabled permits will be issued for injuries or disabilities for a period not to exceed one (1) semester or four (4) consecutive months (whichever is of the greatest benefit to the individual requesting the permit), provided that the request is accompanied by a physician's statement certifying the impairment.

a.  Those with MTSU-issued temporary parking permits must park in white or green spaces only. The blue disabled parking spaces are reserved for those holding permanent disabled parking permits.

b.  Those holding temporary state-issued disabled placards may also park in the blue disabled parking spaces.

3. The individual to whom the disabled license plate or placard has been issued must be using the vehicle in order for the vehicle to be parked in the disabled space. The owner of the parking permit or owner of the vehicle may be charged the maximum fine allowed by law for improper use of a disabled placard or license plate.

4.  Pursuant to T.C.A. § 55-21-108, fines for violating the disabled parking law cannot be suspended or waived.

L.  Parking permit colors. The area authorized for parking is denoted by the color of the parking permit.

1.  White - Available to faculty/administrators/staff (including resident directors and graduate assistants).

2.  Green - Available to commuter students.

3.  Blue - Available to students and employees with qualified disabilities.

4.  Red - Available to on-campus residents.

M.  The following parking spaces are reserved as noted:

1.  Disabled Parking, Housing staff, all Residential parking areas, Maintenance spaces, President, Vice Presidents, University Deans – reserved twenty-four (24) hours a day.

2.  Speech Clinic spaces, CDC Parent spaces in Fairview parking lot – reserved Monday through Thursday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

3.  Health Services reserved 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

4.  Library Staff reserved 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

5.  Recording Industry reserved 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

N.  Parking is allowed only in clearly designated parking spaces. Only one (1) vehicle is permitted to park per space. In gravel lots, legal parking spaces are designated by concrete bumper blocks, except for those painted yellow.

O.  All students and employees are to park in their assigned areas, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  

P.  If a parking permit is lost or stolen, a "Parking Permit Loss Report" must be provided to Parking and Transportation Services along with a replacement fee to obtain a new parking permit.

Q.  Damaged parking permits must be replaced within three (3) business days.

R.  The operator of any disabled vehicle parked in violation of University policies must report the vehicle immediately to Parking and Transportation Services. Failure to report may result in traffic citations and/or towing. The vehicle must be called in each day it is disabled and parked in violation of University policies.

S.  No personal recreational or work travel trailers should be parked or stored on campus property, except as authorized.

T.  Advertising vehicles "For Sale" in University parking lots is prohibited. Any vehicle identified for such wrongful display for a period of forty-eight (48) hours or more will be identified as a disabled vehicle and may result in traffic citations and/or towing.

V.  Operation of Vehicle Enforcement

A.  All Tennessee laws, City of Murfreesboro ordinances, and University policies pertaining to vehicles are applicable twenty-four (24) hours a day, unless otherwise noted.

B.  Operators of vehicles on MTSU property must obey all traffic rules, regulations, posting, or directions, regardless of whether the rule, regulation, posting, or direction is included in this policy.

C.  Moving violations will be charged to the operator of the vehicle at the time of the violation.

D.  Speed limits are posted throughout the campus. All speed limits are radar enforced.

E.  Passing on campus is prohibited.

F.  All vehicles must come to a complete stop at intersections where a stop sign (either mounted on a post or painted on the street surface) is displayed.

G.  Motorists are to yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians in a cross walk.

H.  Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle making use of audible and visual signals, or a police vehicle properly and lawfully making use of an audible signal only, the drivers of all other vehicles shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to a position parallel to, or as close as possible to, the right hand edge or curb of any intersection and shall stop and remain in such position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer.

I.  All persons riding on a motorcycle, either as operator or passenger, must wear a helmet of the type approved by the Commissioner of Safety for the State of Tennessee.

J.  All vehicles must come to a complete stop for a school bus loading or unloading children.

K.  Any person who drives in willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property will be considered to have engaged in reckless driving.

L.  The driver of any vehicle shall obey the instructions of any official traffic-control device unless otherwise directed by a traffic or police officer.

M.  U-turns are prohibited on the campus.

N.  Loud mufflers, cut-outs, and any other noise-making devices attached to or located within or on any vehicle are prohibited.

O.  Excessive loud playing of radios and stereos in vehicles is prohibited. The playing shall be deemed excessively loud if it is disturbing the academic environment of the campus.

VI.  Towing/Booting of Vehicles

A.  Vehicles may be towed/booted if the vehicle is parked or left in violation of University policies, City of Murfreesboro ordinances, and/or Tennessee laws pertaining to motor vehicles,  if said vehicle constitutes a traffic/pedestrian hazard if five (5) or more traffic/parking citations were issued in a semester, or other violations found on the Parking Services website. The owner/parking permit holder of the vehicle will be responsible for any fines assessed against the vehicle and the cost of towing/booting.    

B.  Any person whose vehicle is impounded may appeal such action as provided below in Section XI and on the Parking Services website.

C.  If a boot is removed by the owner/parking permit holder of the vehicle and damaged, the owner/parking permit holder will be responsible for the cost of the boot as well as the fine and boot removal fee. The owner/parking permit holder of the vehicle may be prosecuted if a boot is improperly removed or damaged.

VII.  Violations and Penalties

A.  Fines may be assessed for violations found on the Parking Services website. Fines may be set as determined by MTSU, but will not exceed the amounts imposed by Tennessee law or local ordinance for the same offenses. Such fines are subject to the prior review and approval of the Board. Proposed fines shall be submitted to the Board together with information sufficient to justify the amount of the fine. Such information shall include consideration of fines for the same offense set by Tennessee law or local ordinance, fines for the same offense at similarly situated institutions, association to enforcement costs at the institution, and/or the unique traffic or parking considerations at each institution. Once adopted or amended, all fines shall be affirmatively communicated to the faculty, staff, and students through the Parking Services website and the Traffic and Parking Regulations handbook.

B.  Citations may be given every four (4) hours. No more than two (2) citations will be issued per day for the same violation at the same location. This does not apply to being parked at parking meters.

C.  Overtime parking citations (meters) may be issued every hour.

D.  All fines are to be paid at the Business Office in the Student Services and Admissions Center, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

E.  Any student with unpaid parking fines may not receive grades or transcripts or be able to register for the next semester until the fines are paid.

F.  A parking permit may be revoked for repeated or flagrant parking or moving vehicle violations. Additionally, a parking permit may be revoked for:

1.  operating a vehicle while impaired;

2.  leaving the scene of an accident;

3.  failure to yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle when displaying its emergency lights; or

4.  failure to obey an officer directing traffic.

VIII.  Visitors

A.  Visitors are subject to the policies, ordinances, and laws pertaining to vehicles while on the campus. Violation of such may result in a citation and/or towing of the vehicle.

B.  All visitors are requested to use parking meters or obtain a visitor’s parking permit at either the Parking and Transportation Services Office or its website. Visitor parking permits may not be issued to vehicles registered to current students or employees. See Visitor Parking website.

C.  Upon securing a visitor parking permit, visitors may park in the Visitor Lot, or any white, red, green or blue color-coded space that is not marked as reserved.

D.  Requests for special guest parking permits should be submitted to the Parking and Transportation Services Office as far in advance as possible. Special event parking requests should be submitted at least seven (7) calendar days in advance.

IX.  Resident Parking

A.  All on-campus residents seeking to park a vehicle on campus are required to obtain a parking permit according to their residential area. A maximum of two (2) parking permits may be obtained by any family residing at Womack Lane Apartments.

B.  Any on-campus resident who holds a valid MTSU Blue parking permit may park in any clearly marked blue, white, red, or green parking space as well as the parking meters.

C.  Any resident who holds a valid MTSU white parking permit may park in any clearly marked white, red, or green permit parking area.

X.  Bicycles on Campus

A.  All bicycles on MTSU property must be operated in accordance with all traffic rules, regulations, postings, or directions, regardless of whether the rule, regulation, posting, or direction is included in this policy.

B.  Employees and students using bicycles on campus must register them with Parking and Transportation Services to ensure proper return if recovered after theft, confiscation due to illegal or improper parking, or abandonment.

C.  Bicycle racks are available throughout campus for bicycle parking. Bicycles may not be parked in any other areas not designated for such parking.

D.  Bicycles that are inappropriately parked, in a state of disrepair (flat tires, bent rims, broken chains, etc.) or abandoned (appearance of non-use, etc.) are subject to impoundment.

XI.  Appeal of Citations

A.  Any MTSU student, other than a student holding a faculty/administrative/staff parking permit, who receives a parking/traffic citation may appeal the citation within fifteen (15) calendar days of issuance by going to the SGA website which provides the specific hearing procedures.

B.  Any MTSU employee or campus visitor holding a faculty/administrative/staff parking permit who receives a citation may appeal the citation within fifteen (15) calendar days of issuance by filing an appeal form or by going to the Parking Services website. Specific hearing procedures are described at the website.

C.  Any MTSU student or employee who has his/her vehicle towed may appeal such action as indicated above. This can be done only after the vehicle has been secured from impoundment and within seven (7) calendar days of the towing date.

D.  All appeal decisions are available on the Parking Services website. Individuals who have appealed will also be notified of the appeal decision through the email address provided with the appeal. The appeal decision is final.

E.  The payment of citations will in no way restrict the Office of Student Conduct or the University Parking and Traffic Committee from revoking parking privileges.

Forms:  none.

Revisions: June 5, 2017 (original); March 27, 2018; August 15, 2019; September 13, 2022.

Last Reviewed: September 2022.

References: T.C.A. § 55-21-108.