(WBIR-Knoxville) The University of Tennessee announced on Monday, starting July 1, they will start using wheel locks on cars instead of towing vehicles.
UT said it typically towed cars when owners had multiple unpaid parking and traffic fines. Wheel locks now will be used to temporarily disable vehicles until drivers pay previous unpaid fines. Enforcement officers will also use wheel locks if the driver is using a stolen or counterfeited handicapped parking permit.
In a release, UT wrote drivers, whose vehicles have been locked, can pay their outstanding fines at the Parking and Transit Service office during business hours. People can pay fines at the UT Police Department after hours and anytime online.
Officers will put window stickers on the driver's side of the locked door with contact information and the website to pay online. Once outstanding fees are paid, a technician will remove the lock from the wheel.
UT said it decided to use wheel looks to avoid the chance of damaging the vehicle by towing, plus the university hopes to eliminate the stress of not knowing where a vehicle is located. According to the release, the university said the new wheel lock system should save money, since the cost of towing a vehicle continues to rise.
Officials said towing will not be completely eliminated. If there is an emergency situation, or if a vehicle is blocking access and the owner can't be located, the university will tow the vehicle.