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Handicap Parking

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  • Handicap Parking

    Can you and do you enforce the law on people who park in handicap places that have no sticker and obviously aren't handicap? If it is a private parking lot like Walmart, do they have to be willing to tow the car or can you do it? I see it all the time and obviously there are more important issues out there but not all the time. Just curious.....Oh and one more question, if someone has a handicap sticker they are using and are NOT handicap and is not even their sticker, what could they be given a ticket for?

  • #2
    Parking laws are specific to each state, so keep in mind I'm answering from a CA perspective. If you want more specific information, see the regional sections.

    Originally posted by Bnathanb1982 View Post
    Can you and do you enforce the law on people who park in handicap places that have no sticker and obviously aren't handicap?
    Yes and yes. However, sometimes people have the handicap placard, they just don't display it properly. I try to avoid citing those people whenever possible.
    If it is a private parking lot like Walmart, do they have to be willing to tow the car or can you do it?
    Since it's in a publicly accessible area, I don't need the cooperation of the owner to prosecute. I usually don't tow; I usually choose to cite. The ticket is $330 here, which I think is an appropriate deterrent.
    I see it all the time and obviously there are more important issues out there but not all the time. Just curious
    I enforce it whenever I see it because it bothers me. Not all of co-workers share my perspective though and the enforcement is entirely up to their discretion.
    .....Oh and one more question, if someone has a handicap sticker they are using and are NOT handicap and is not even their sticker, what could they be given a ticket for?
    In California the placard is issued with a piece of paper that states the name of the person that is entitled to park in handicap spots. That person must be in the vehicle. Remember though, not all disabilities are immediatly obvious. I have family members that need the spot, but don't always look like they do.

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    • #3
      Its basically the same way in NJ
      We ride for those who died!

      RIP SgtCHP!

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      • #4
        Regarding your question. Personally, I will ticket people for parking in handicap spots and not displaying a placard or having a handicap plate. As far as an officer towing the car, this may depend on the state you live in. But I am pretty sure Walmart could tow as long as it is private property. If someone is using a placard that does not belong to them, they are cited as if they dont have a placard at all (At least here in CA).

        We have the ability to run the placard to see who it belongs to. A few weeks ago I started to cite a Mercedes for parking in a handicap spot. The driver caught me as I was writing the ticket and said she had the placard. She produced a placard, and when I asked who it belonged to, she said it was hers. When I ran the placard, I discovered it belonged to her mother, and per DMV, her mother was deceased! On the placard, it said a fine for misuse was $3000.00. I doubt she would be fined that much, but I did take it and book it into evidence.

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        • #5
          I never pass up the opportunity to cite someone parked illegally in a disabled parking spot. Makes me smile just thinking about it
          LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO DRINK CHEAP BEER!

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          • #6
            I'll write them. I will not tow on private property unless requested by the owner.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bnathanb1982 View Post
              Can you and do you enforce the law on people who park in handicap places that have no sticker and obviously aren't handicap? If it is a private parking lot like Walmart, do they have to be willing to tow the car or can you do it? I see it all the time and obviously there are more important issues out there but not all the time. Just curious.....Oh and one more question, if someone has a handicap sticker they are using and are NOT handicap and is not even their sticker, what could they be given a ticket for?
              Yes, Yes, Ticket works fine no tow, they get a ticket and so does the owner of the handicap sticker.
              http://www.truepolicestories.net - my website of all my stories as a police officer. Please read it and become a member!

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              • #8
                I write them when I see them..pet peeve of mine

                Handicap space violation = $500 fine

                "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm" -George Orwell

                "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing diapers." - Blues Brothers

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                • #9
                  Absolutely I enforce handicap parking laws. It's amazing how many people will use somebody else's handicap placard to park closer to a mall. The placard belongs to an individual --- NOT A CAR. People get so mad when they get a ticket for illegally parking in a disabled persons space. I can't tell you how many arrests I have made for felony warrants, drugs, guns, etc. simply by paying attention to this law.

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                  • #10
                    Be careful when you talk about people who "obviously aren't handicapped." No doubt placards get passed around and abused, however there are people who are handicapped who would not appear to be handicapped just by looking at them. People with MS fall into this category. They may look fine when they get out of the car, but they may barely be able to walk an hour later. You can't look at someone and see lesions on their brain.

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                    • #11
                      It's s pet peeve of mine too. I look for them whenever I happen to be in or near a parking lot with handicap spots.
                      “Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.” - Robert F. Kennedy.

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                      • #12
                        Yep, enforce and ticket. It's not less then $300, and not more than $500. And up to 30 days in the Parish jail. Judges usually are not sympathetic. I've seen them give $500, fines regularly.

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                        • #13
                          In California you can run the number on the placard as a plate and it's registered to the disabled person. If that person is not in the vehicle it's a violation. I didn't know about running the number on the placard until recently.

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                          • #14
                            Out here on Long Island, not only do the local police enforce the handicapped parking laws, but the towns have deputized senior citizens and provided them with cameras to take photos of violators. They get the plate and the sign in the pic and the car owner gets the fine. And as another poster stated don't assume that someone who can walk to the curb from the car is not handicapped. My mother-in-law had a tag. We used it to park when taking her out. She was lucky if she could walk 20 feet without stopping to get her breath.

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                            • #15
                              Last night I ran a plate on a vehicle that briefly stopped in the handicap zone on the terminal roadway. That was the only reason I chose that vehicle out of the 50 other cars on the roadway at the time. R/O ended up having a revoked DL. I love idiots, they keep me employed
                              The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.

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