LA Times Columnist Calls for Crackdown…on Handicapped Cheats

Steve Lopez is hopping mad. He is a columnist in the LA Times and has done some research on handicapped placard abuse. Its worse than we thought. Lopez has discovered that if you use a fake or out of date placard, your chances of being caught are nil. Last year the LA Department of Transportation issued only 11 citations for abuse. During the same period San Francisco issued over 600.

Obviously using the handicapped placard saves you a ton of money and time. You park anywhere for free.  And since the odds of being caught are practically zero, why not?

He is calling for a change in the law that automatically renews the permits every year. He wants a renewed doctors certificate annually. Second, why not charge for handicapped parking.  That will remove some incentive. (well duh) Third, crack down on doctors that issue permits to just about anyone. And fourth, with the second offense impound the driver’s car for a month.

Of course if the DOT isn’t enforcing the rules, all this won’t help.  I would add having an ‘app’ available on cell phones so people can take a picture of the offending vehicle and send it to the DOT so it can be determined whether or not the placard is valid and if not, a warning sent, or even an officer in the area dispatched to cite the vehicle.

When I was hiking in the Hollywood area this weekend, the streets were marked as no parking zones, residents only. The 20 or so spaces nearest the trailhead were taken by cars with handicapped stickers. As I have mentioned before, this is a rather aggressive trail and if a person can make it even part way up, they have no handicap that would prevent them from parking in a standard space.

Having an officer patrol the Runyon canyon area on weekends would be a good place to start enforcement.

Lopez ends his article saying, if all else fails, he is in favor of public flogging.  Hear Hear



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One Response to LA Times Columnist Calls for Crackdown…on Handicapped Cheats

  1. There is an “app” for that! ” Last year the LA Department of Transportation issued only 11 citations for abuse. During the same period San Francisco issued over 600.” Wonder why San Francisco is catching so many? “I have received many questions about “who is looking”, and “what is happening” with our handidapped parking posts? I’ll admit it’s not a fast process to assist and improve a government system that’s been overburdened and difficult to enforce for so many years. But I am happy to say that the police at the San Francisco Investigative Team of DMV are taking notice, and using our information.” Under heading of “We are Making a Difference!” Source: http://www.handicappedfraud.org/ With 620 archived pages from across the country the website is making a difference. Oh… and don’t forget to download the i-Phone ‘app” while you are on the website. One recent Los Angeles report”01/12/12 7:18p 333 S Alameda Los Angeles CA D349340 6JRW572 uses mothers permit to park at work daily” Another sample from 2007, “This is a UCLA student who fraudulently uses the placard. She gets out of the car straps on a heavy backpack and walks the two blocks to UCLA. Parks here on Wednesdays.” Hey DOT maybe you can start the new year with your first citation for abuse. All you need is 10 more to match last year or you could use the website and check archive pages 295 to 306(when you sort by location). You could get your 11 tickets by February! You could then have a goal to be as least as good as San Francisco. Over 600 in a year. We know you can do it!

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