There’s a company in New Zealand that has a device that would help prevent disabled parking fraud. Read about it here. Its kind of neat — You provide each disabled parker a transmitter to put in their car and when they park, the meter knows that they are not supposed to be charged. Enforcement would immediately know that there is a violation, and all would be right with the world. Of course, this is to be used in places (UK, NZ, AUS, CAN, US and most of the rest of the world) where the handicapped are allowed to park for free.
But there’s the rub. Its the “free” that makes handicapped placards so valuable. The placard gives the driver unlimited free parking anywhere. So there is a built in market for counterfeit placards. I’m told that you can go to a certain street corner here in LA (and probably in most large cities) and pay a small fee and get a placard that will pass muster on most any vehicle.
So this company has a great idea, as long as parking for the disabled remains free. The moment that a city, county, state, local authority, or whomever decides to charge for handicapped spaces, there is no more business. And why not?
The handicapped aren’t poor, necessarily, they need more time and more space and perhaps a spot closer in. So provide it. I’m all for that. But providing it for free, what’s with that? I was waiting for a friend in front of a restaurant and watched a PEO pass out citations to people parked on street in the area. There were eight meters in violation, she wrote two tickets. The other six had handicapped placards.
I don’t understand why the handicapped can’t pay for their parking. They pay for their more expensive cars (with special controls), they pay for gas, oil, maintenance, insurance, and the like. Why is parking free?
Once we get past that, the problem with bogus placards will go away instantly, and this New Zealand company will have to find other customers for its product.