City to crack down on misuse of handicap placards

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Empty parking for disabled persons

SAN DIEGO — The City Council Tuesday approved a series of actions that will broaden enforcement actions against people who misuse disabled parking placards in San Diego.

According to a city staff report, it’s estimated that 60 percent of the handicapped placards — which allow parking in preferred spaces — are abused, and the “flagrant” and “willful” misuse is increasing substantially.

“I think everyone has seen what they believe to be, or looks like, people who are perfectly able-bodied taking spaces and hopping out of a car,” Councilwoman Lorie Zapf said.

Currently, only police officers in San Diego are allowed to enforce the use of the placards. The new ordinance will allow parking enforcement officers to write tickets.

The council also established a $740 fine for an offense, and state law requires an additional 10 percent penalty.

The staff report said police officers average issuing 400 citations for placard abuse each year.

In other action, the council approved a three-year deal with Car2Go to establish an electric vehicle rental program in San Diego. The city and Car2Go had been working on a pilot program since 2011, in which vehicles are rented by the minute and driven in a defined area.

According to city staff, more than 7,000 trips are made per week in Car2Go’s 400-vehicle local fleet.

The agreement includes an option to renew for two additional years.

4 comments

  • Liberal idiots

    Great news!

    In my neighborhood, it’s hip to get the placards so you can secure a guaranteed street parking space in front of your house.

    And at the “Mediterranean” restaurant on University Ave, all of the new immigrants have them to facilitate parking in choice spots.

    I used to say something when I’d see a seemingly healthy driver exit a car and run into a store. But I stopped after hearing, “I’m on disability. I have a mental health issue. It’s my mom’s.”

    Just disgusting, really.

  • M S

    Are police and parking officers now doctors too? The access to disabled placards are, in most cases, provided by skilled medical staff based upon a specific medical need – many of which are not the cause of any visible affliction. How in the hell can a cop determine whether the placard is being misused or not. The placard system, itself, needs to be overhauled – cradk down on doctors who provide access without cause and add the name (or other ID info) of the medically designated user to the placard itself. Use by another is the ONLY infraction that police have the proper training to determine!

    • Jay

      Pretty sure they ARE referring to people using another person’s placard when they are not with them or, in some cases, using a deceased person’s placard. Calm down.

      • M S

        Jay… ever heard the term ‘probable cause’?

        Now compare to what Laurie Zapf had to say in defense of the legislation – she imples that just LOOKING able bodied gives L.E. the right to require proof from you that you are not breaking the law,

        Constitutionally, I DON’T think so. What has happened to innocent until proven guilty?

        Don’t condescend to me, Jay – this doesn’t warrant ‘calming down.’

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