MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — Students at Middle Tennessee State University are already having to pay up for parking violations days into the new school year.
After the first day of classes, the university's Parking Services issued 275 citations totaling nearly $6,500. Assistant Vice President for Events and Transportation Ron Malone said that amount was typical for the start of the year.
Steve Johnson said his daughter received two parking violations in less than 24 hours for not having a campus permit. He said each time she tried to pick up her decal the Parking Services office was either closed or she didn't have enough time to wait in line.
"The lines were so long after she got her first ticket. She had to go to class and while she was in line for the third time she was ticketed again. These are 18-year-old kids on their first day of school trying to navigate that large university with tons of buildings. They really haven't gotten the chance to check out every spot. As soon as you wake up they have a ticket," Johnson said.
He said his daughter's $32 ticket didn't concern him as much as the total amount of fines issued on Monday. He wondered why his daughter was not given a warning at first.
Malone told Newschannel 5 the university is expanding. Construction on new buildings has caused officials to reduce the number of parking on campus.
"And yes, that is definitely a challenge. Students sort of have to shift where they're going to have to park their cars. As buildings continue to be built, as modifications continue to be made, as improvements continue to be made, the parking continues to move to the perimeter of campus," he said.
Malone said officials are encouraging students to walk more and drive less on campus. He also encourages them to use the free shuttle services.
Johnson said his daughter plans to appeal her tickets.
"I've talked to several people that have concerns. A lot of them just went ahead of it and paid because they just needed it paid and wanted it taken care of. Some of the upperclassmen didn't understand that they're passes had expired after three years so a lot of them were ticketed," he said.
Malone said parking fines go to pay for parking lots, sidewalks, as well as street and road repairs.