Monday, March 7, 2016

Handicapper parking places

One of the benefits of being a blogger is that I can air my aggravations and be done with them.

For instance, one of our "sometimes" coffee drinkers is a man whose wife died over a year ago.  He saw no reason to turn in her "Handicapped Parking Placard".  This was not an oversight. He feels that he is entitled to keep it.

Honesty compels me to admit that this is rarely a problem in Eaton Rapids.  Land is cheap, parking lots are expansive and I rarely see all of the handicapped parking spaces filled.  It is more about the principle of the thing.

This is a problem in more congested areas.  My daughter in Miami tells me that every handicapped parking spot is always filled.  One must wonder how many of the placards/licenses are fraudulent or forgeries.

I suspect that there is no mechanism at the Secretary of State's office to identify holders of placards and handicapped license plates who no longer need them, i.e., died.

The State of Michigan makes a half-hearted stab at controlling the number of placards out there by issuing them for a four year period.  But then they allow them to be renewed an indefinite number of times, no pulse required, the only requirement being that the check not bounce.

"Permanent placards may be renewed up to 45 days before the placard's expiration date or up to six months early if the applicant will be out of state during the renewal period or has other good reason for renewing early. There is no renewal fee. A physician's statement is not required for renewals.Source

This condition would be easy enough to fix if there was sufficient political will.  The placards could be issued annually when licenses are renewed.  A doctor's (or chiropractors, or physician's assistant or nurse practicioner's) signature could be required for renewal.  Further, the color could change every year to facilitate enforcement.

Those suggestions are very basic fraud control measures.

It really comes down to what best serves the disabled community.  Does the aggravation of not being able to use the parking slots at the drug store, and doctor's office and the courthouse outweigh the burden of getting your medical provider to do their job?


  1. The Handicapped Parking codes vary from state to state, but generally fall under that part of the code that regulates hospitals. Locally, our codes fall under Title 40, the regulation that controls Health and Hospitals.

    I suspect that abuse is a nationwide problem. I know that here in Louisiana it is severely abused. It's also hard to police, because once the vehicle is parked, there is no way for the officer to know exactly who parked the car. Benefit of the doubt goes to the motorist, so we actually have to catch someone in the act.


    I don't see it now but on the news a year or so ago a handicap spot abuser hurled abuse and damn near ran a ticket cop down.