So Let’s Get To Kate’s Questions
Kate’s email suggests that someone in her neighborhood is abusing disabled-parking privileges. How long can a car occupy a handicapped parking space? Can a disabled parking placard be shared among multiple vehicles so that one of them can occupy the same handicapped spot daily? This is sensitive territory. Obviously anyone entitled to disabled-parking privileges should be treated with empathy and courtesy. It’s also important to note that just because a person appears able-bodied, he or she may still have a medical condition qualifying them for a disabled placard. But, as most Southern Californians know, the awarding and use of disabled placards is rife with abuse. The California Department of Motor Vehicles announced in July that it’s cracking down on misuse of the program. It’s been widely reported that 1 in 10 of all California drivers has a disabled placard. So let’s get to Kate’s questions. First, a disabled placard entitles the user to park as long as desired, regardless of posted limits. Sharing of a single placard among multiple cars is trickier. You are the only person who can use the parking placard or plates for parking or service station privileges,” says the Department of Motor Vehicles. It is illegal to lend a placard to someone else or use another person’s placard. But there’s nothing in the law that stipulates a placard can only be used with a specific vehicle. The best bet for Kate and others, therefore, may be to move on and not make trouble. You can also get in touch with one of the agency’s investigation offices statewide. Here’s a link to find them. You can also report placard abuse to any local law enforcement agency, including the police, sheriff’s department, Highway Patrol or your county Department of Transportation. Here’s a link for information from the city of Los Angeles for reporting placard abuse. To get a temporary handicap parking permit workers comp injury follow the link.
In all of the Bay Area, more than 500,000 people hold placards. Concern that people with unauthorized permits are stealing parking from people with disabilities and depleting the city’s already insufficient supply of street parking has led to calls for a crackdown beyond increased enforcement. Some are urging changes in the way disabled parking placards are issued, distributed and monitored, and a group in San Francisco has raised the idea of eliminating the free-parking part of the permit. We’re not trying to just get parking for us,” Planthold said. The DMV, which oversees the Disabled Person Parking Placard Program, stepped up enforcement stings and publicized them after the state audit came out. In June, DMV investigators carried out 22 sting operations, resulting in 195 citations out of 1,633 drivers selected randomly for questioning. Choosing locations based on complaints, investigators questioned drivers who pulled into spaces in cars displaying placards. They asked to see the placards, which contain an identification number, as well as ID to determine whether the holder was authorized to have the blue card.
Placards are issued to individuals, not cars. The number of citations issued during the department’s June stings indicated that about 1 in 8 placards was being used fraudulently. San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency, which confiscates about 1,500 placards a year that are fraudulently used or obtained, has its own parking force overseeing disability parking, along with regular parking enforcement officers. Enforcement is an important part of finding a solution to more parking for people who need it,” said Paul Rose, an MTA spokesman. Four years ago, a committee convened by the Mayor’s Office on Disability recommended increasing enforcement and upgrading oversight of how placards are issued and who certifies someone as eligible. It also recommended setting parking time limits for people with disabled placards and requiring them to pay at meters like other drivers. But enacting those proposals would require changes in state law, and efforts in Sacramento went nowhere. The auditor recommended the DMV and Legislature conduct quarterly audits of applications, determine whether some people are getting an excessive number of replacement placards, and check Social Security lists to cull dead people’s names from the placard rolls. The recommendations also call on the DMV to develop technology that will make it easier for city parking control officers to check the validity of a placard. DMV Director Jean Shiomoto agreed to implement all 16 recommendations in the audit. Legislation proposed by state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, would require the DMV to conduct quarterly audits of applications, in conjunction with state health boards. It would also make placard holders apply for renewals every four years and limit the number of replacement placards to two every two years.
This allows the driver to park in handicapped parking spots. When parking on the street with meters present, as long as you are not in a red zone you can place the disabled placard on your mirror and not pay the meter. I learned through trial and error that the person who is disabled is the one who gets the disabled placard issued, not the driver. The first time I filled out the DMV application and took it to the Doctor for her signature and input for some data. I figured it would be faster to mail the form to the DMV headquarters instead of driving into Hollywood and waiting in line for the processing. A few weeks later I received the application back with the notation that I had to start the process over again - meaning go back to the Doctor and get her information documented on the form.