Policy Details

Date of Last Update

Approved By
  • Senior Leadership Team

Responsible Office
Public Safety


Print Policy
Export Policy As PDF

Traffic Ordinance

SLT 6.33

Policy Statement

Section 1.0.  Definitions

As used in this ordinance:

a. Authorized Service Vehicles: Shall mean those vehicles owned, leased, or operated by the University, or in use by vendors or contractors with proper authorization by the University.

b. Campus:  Unless otherwise noted in this ordinance, Campus shall mean property owned or controlled by Grand Valley State University (GVSU or the University).

c. Crosswalk:  1) That part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway measured from the curbs, or in the absence of curbs from the edges of the traversable highway, and 2) Any portion of a highway at an intersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface.

d. Department of Public Safety:  Shall mean the GVSU Department of Public Safety, which is a full-service law enforcement agency charged with responsibility for enforcing University ordinances, rules, and regulations, and state and local law.  The Department includes Police, Security, and Emergency Management units.

e. Pedestrian:  Shall mean any person afoot. Pedestrian includes an individual with a mobility disability who is using a power or non-power driven mobility device.

f. Police Chief: Refers to the GVSU Police Chief/Director of Public Safety.

g. Police Officer/Police: Shall mean the sworn law enforcement officer(s) employed by the GVSU Department of Public Safety or any other sworn law enforcement agent(s).

h. Private Road: Shall mean a privately owned and maintained road, allowing access to more than 1 residence or place of business, which is normally open to the public and upon which persons other than the owners located thereon may also travel.  All roads owned and/or controlled by the University are private roads. 

i. Traffic Control Signal: Means any device whether manually, electrically or mechanically operated, by which traffic is alternately directed to stop and to proceed.

j. Vehicle:  Shall mean every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a roadway, except mobility devices or those devices moved by human power.

If any word or phrase used is not defined above, but is defined in the Michigan Vehicle Code, PA 300, MCL 257.1 to 257.923, or the Michigan Uniform Traffic Code for Cities, Townships, and Villages, then the definition in the Vehicle Code or Traffic Code shall apply.  

Section 02.  Traffic - Administration and Authority

a. Enforcement:  It shall be the duty of the Police Chief and Police Officers to enforce the provisions of this ordinance and the State vehicle laws applicable to traffic, to make arrests when authorized by law, to assist in the prosecution of persons charged with violations, to investigate accidents, to cooperate with other law enforcement and University officials in the administration of the traffic regulations, and to develop ways to improve traffic and pedestrian conditions on University property, and to carry out those duties especially imposed by this ordinance and any future amendments.

b. Traffic Engineer:  It is the general duty of the Police Chief to collaborate with other University officials to determine the installation, proper timing, and maintenance of traffic control devices; to plan and direct the operation of traffic on roadways on the Campus, to establish parking areas, designating limitation and use; and to certify the installation, removal, and/or authorization of traffic control devices and signs.  The Police Chief is responsible for establishment, development and maintenance of University Traffic Control Orders. 

c. Restriction Upon Access or Use:  It shall be the duty of the Police Chief to establish restrictions upon access to or use of the University owned or controlled roadways, sidewalks, parking lots, or other property of the University or portions thereof as may be deemed necessary or desirable for the safe, lawful, and effective conduct of the affairs of the University; provided that the Police Chief or the Police Chief’s authorized representatives shall make restrictions known by use of signs, barricades, posting of Police or other authorized persons possessing official identification, or establishing lines beyond which unauthorized persons are not permitted to pass

d. Authority of Police Directing Traffic:  Police Officers and/or such Officers as are assigned by the Police Chief are hereby authorized to direct all traffic by voice, hand, or signal in conformance with traffic laws, provided that, in the event of a fire or other emergency or to expedite traffic or to safeguard pedestrians, Officers may direct traffic as conditions may require notwithstanding the provisions of the traffic laws. 

e. Authority to Appoint Designated Employees:  The Police Chief is hereby empowered to authorize the employment of students or other designated employees to be assigned to the control and direction of traffic in/out of parking lots and at crosswalks.  While engaged in directing traffic and while wearing reflective safety apparel, devices, and emblems distinctively identifying them as authorized employees of the University, no motorist or pedestrian shall disregard the directions of such employees while they are directing or controlling traffic. 

Section 03.  Drivers’ Rights and Responsibilities

a. Any motor vehicle driven, parked or possessed upon the premises of Grand Valley State University shall have affixed to said motor vehicle a current registration plate or plates as issued by the State of residence of the registered owner. Any motor vehicle parked or possessed upon the premises of Grand Valley State University which does not have a current registration plate attached to the said motor vehicle shall be presumed to be abandoned, and the Police Chief/Director of the Department of Public Safety is authorized to arrange to have the said motor vehicle removed from the premises of Grand Valley State University at the owner’s expense. 

b. The driver of any vehicle shall obey the instructions of any official traffic-control device that is placed in accordance with a traffic control order or a traffic ordinance of the University unless otherwise directed by a Police Officer.

c. No person shall operate a motor vehicle over or upon property owned by the University unless the property has been designated as a roadway, or parking area.  Authorized Service Vehicles, police vehicles, and emergency vehicles are exempt. 

d. Except as provided in Section 03.c), no vehicle shall be driven on a sidewalk, unless the driver has been directed to do so by a Police Officer or Designated Employee (Section 02.e)). Authorized Service Vehicles, police vehicles, and emergency vehicles are exempt. 

e. When any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.

f. When traffic-control signals are not in place or are not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is on the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.

g. Any driver of a vehicle who approaches within 10 feet of a person who is wholly or partially blind, who is carrying a cane or walking stick that is white or white tipped with red, or who is being led by a guide dog wearing a harness and walking on either side, or slightly in front, of the blind person shall immediately come to a full stop and shall take precautions before proceeding as may be necessary to avoid accident or injury to the wholly or partially blind person.  A person who violates this rule is guilty of a misdemeanor.

h. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian on any roadway, shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary, and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any confused or incapacitated person on a roadway.

Section 04.  Mobility Devices

No person shall operate a skateboard, bicycle, roller skates, or roller blades in University parking structures or buildings. In addition, no person shall operate roller skates, roller blades, a Segway, an electric scooter, a hoverboard, a self-balancing scooter, bicycle, or an electric bicycle in any manner that poses a threat of harm to pedestrians or damage to University property and buildings, including, but not limited to, failing to yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian, maintaining a safe distance from pedestrians or other road or sidewalk users, operating such vehicles at an unsafe speed, and performing tricks or stunts.

Section 05.  Parking

The department of Facilities Services – Grand Rapids and Regional Centers serves as the University parking administrator.

Section 06.  Impound and Abandoned Vehicles and Other Items

a. The Police Chief and Officers of the Department of Public Safety are hereby authorized to remove vehicles from property owned or controlled by the University, in accordance with the Michigan Vehicle Code. 

b. The reasonable cost of removal and storage shall be borne by the owner. 

c. In addition to vehicles, items deemed abandoned by the Department of Public Safety, such as bicycles, skateboards, and scooters, are subject to impound by the University.

d. It shall be unlawful for any person to remove, without the special authorization of the Police Chief/Director of Public Safety or the Police Chief’s designee, any vehicle, trailer or other object that has been placed in an impound lot, storage facility, or bicycle pen that has been designated and posted, until the prescribed fees have been paid.

Section 07.  Enforcement and Penalties

A violation shall constitute a civil infraction unless noted otherwise and be enforced through the Michigan Vehicle Code, Michigan Uniform Traffic Code, and/or adjudicated through University policies and procedures. 

Section 08.  Other Applicable Laws

Nothing contained in this ordinance is intended to limit the power of any governmental unit or law enforcement agency to enforce on Grand Valley State University property any laws, ordinances, or regulations which otherwise would be enforceable on such property .

Section 09.  Severability

If any part or parts of this ordinance are for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity or constitutionality of the remaining portions of this ordinance.