Monday, January 19, 2009

Bill Targets Handicapped Parking Violators

Saw this article and had to post it. Some of you know this is a major
pet peeve of mine. Kudo's to South Carolina. Now if the other States could
do something.

Bill targets handicapped parking violators

People use handicap placards that don't belong to them. Drivers park in the striped access aisles next to designated spaces. And confusion abounds over who is responsible for catching violators.

"There's a continual problem of people abusing handicap placards, parking in spaces without a placard or having a placard they're not entitled to," said Sen. Vincent Sheheen of Camden.
Sheheen and Sen. Dick Elliott of North Myrtle Beach, both Democrats, introduced a bill last week to create more accountability in the process of acquiring a placard. The state Senate already has passed the legislation twice, but the bill stalled in the House both times, Sheheen said.

Angela Jacildone, state advocacy manager for the mid-Atlantic chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, said record keeping is part of the problem.

"There's a disconnect between the forms from the DMV and the physician who writes the prescription (for the placard)," Jacildone said.

A Watchdog report earlier this year found the Department of Motor Vehicles does not record physicians' information, leaving no way to check whether a physician actually filled out the form.
The bill would connect those dots with a form that will stay on file with the DMV.
The proposed law also would redefine a person with a disability.

"The current law may not include a person with Multiple Sclerosis because they may not look like they have a disease," she said. Many people with MS suffer fatigue, which worsens throughout the day.

And finally, the legislation would connect the person and the placard with an identification card, which law enforcement personnel could look at and match.

Although not part of the proposed law, the MS society would like to see more clarification in the law regarding who has jurisdiction for enforcement.

"Some agencies will tell us they will go to business parking lots. Others say it's private property," Jacildone said.

"We would also like to see more language about access aisles," she said.
Cars sometimes park in the striped areas next to designated spaces. That aisle is necessary for a person with a disability to get in and out of their wheelchair or scooter.


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1 comment:

Libby said...

man, do i hope they can do something about this!!