UT to start using wheel locks instead of towing vehicles

Starting July 1, the University of Tennessee will be using wheel locks on vehicles with outstanding fines and parking tickets on campus instead of towing them.

Mark Hairr, UT’s Director of Parking and Transit Services, said this decision was made because using wheel locks is cheaper, safer for vehicles and reduces the stress of not knowing where one’s vehicle is.

“Towing is such a time consuming and anxious process for the customer that gets their car towed. For our staff and for what it costs us in staff time and the actual expense to have a tow truck come is very involved, very expensive and creates a very anxious situation for the person who gets their car towed,” Hairr said. “[Wheel locks] allow us to be able to enforce our parking regulations in a much more effective manner.”

Wheel locks will be used on vehicles whose owners have three or more outstanding citations including parking tickets and other violations.

This new policy will only apply on UT’s parking lots and property. Wheel locks will not be put on vehicles parked on city streets.

Towing will continue to be used in an emergency situation or if a vehicle is blocking access and its owner cannot be found.

Drivers of the condemned vehicles will be able to pay their fines and have the lock removed at the UT Parking and Transit offices, UT Police Department or online at https://webapps.dii.utk.edu/psoCitation/.