California sees Increase in Disabled Placard Violations
According to the Sacramento Bee, the California Department of Motor Vehicles cited 2,485 people this fiscal year for abusing the cards that are designed to accommodate people with limited mobility. The DMV issued 1,625 citations the previous fiscal year, which is a 58 percent increase. The disabled placard violations are misdemeanors that carry fines of $250 to $1,000. The DMV began cracking down on scofflaws in 2017 due to the increase in violations. DMV spokesman Jaime Garza stated,
Our goal is to raise public awareness about the correct use of the placards and ultimately to get to the point where we have to issue zero tickets.
The DMV’s approach to catch violators is to catch them in the act by frequently scouting potential abusers during large gatherings such as during music and sporting events. Investigators then ask a suspected violator for their placard registration card and identification that matches the card. Garza claims that during the past 12 months, an average of one out of 10 people who DMV investigators stopped were either illegally parking in a disabled spot without a placard or using a disabled person’s parking placard. Apparently, violators are usually people who are using a family member’s or friend’s placard. However, the cards sometimes are illegally purchased online. Hopefully the DMV can fix this issue so that people are not illegally taking up the disabled parking spots.