Lawmakers cracking down on disabled parking misusers

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on February 22, 2013 at 7:04 PM

People who misuse disabled parking placards, prepare for a crackdown. The state legislature is looking at stricter enforcement.

In downtown Seattle, on average one quarter of daytime street parking is taken by cars with disabled placards.

"There are many times when all the handicapped spots of taken," says Pat O'Rouke, who drives to Seattle from Bremerton.

The placards are like gold.  Put one in your car and you can park all day for free.

In Washington state, with a population nearly 7 million, there are 728,000 active placards.  That's nearly 10 percent of the population.

It's very difficult to determine if a placard is expired or if it is being used by a legitimate driver.

"I have a legitimate handicap and I think for people who do have a legitimate handicap, it would be a lot easier to find spots if they crackdown on the ones that aren't," said O'Rouke.

That crackdown is coming from Olympia.  House Bill 1947 would require a placard's expiration date be prominently displayed and there would be a $250 fine for drivers who misuse the placard.

A hearing on the proposed bill is next Wednesday in Olympia.   

 

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