When you have a handicap that makes walking distances a problem, your physician may suggest you get a handicap parking placard. People with disabilities can obtain a handicap placard or a special license plate from the Department of Motor Vehicles. These permits will have the international symbol of access which is a white and blue wheelchair. The placard must always be displayed when using a handicapped parking space.
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Who Can Use Handicap Parking?
There is a handicap parking guide available to people who need this information. Handicap parking permits are given to individuals who have a disability that makes it difficult for them to walk long distances. For most disabled people, these permits come in the form of a placard that needs to be renewed on a regular basis. This offers those with permanent disabilities and temporary disabilities the ability to utilize the closer parking spaces at the various places they need to go. These placards can be used by disabled people in any vehicle they are driving or riding in. There are also specialized license plates available for those who drive with a permanent disability. All of the handicap parking permits require proof from a medical professional to be provided to the Department of Motor Vehicles for approval.
Do Not Park in a Handicap Spot
Handicap parking spaces are required by law for businesses to provide convenient parking places for those with disabilities. These spaces allow many of these individuals to be able to function in normal life. When a person does not have disability parks in these spots, it takes away the spot for a person with a disability. In some cases, it may prevent that disabled person from accessing the business or facility at all. In addition, it is against the law to park in a handicapped parking space with a permit. Those who ignore this law, depending on the locality, can face fines, towing of their vehicle, or even jail time.
Do Not Park in the Accessibility Area
In addition to being required to provide a certain number of handicap spaces, many businesses and facilities are required to provide van-accessible areas. These spaces are often larger with an area that has striped paint marks on it. This is to provide extra room for those using a wheelchair, walker, or another mobility device to be able to enter and exit the vehicle with ease. Unfortunately, many people feel that it is ok to park in these areas. When this occurs, the disabled individual is unable to safely exit their vehicle and properly utilize their mobility equipment.
Do Not Judge Those Using the Spaces
Handicap parking spaces are often in prime locations at various businesses and other facilities. These spaces are often wanted by everyone that enters the parking space. This can often cause some envy of those that are allowed to utilize those spaces. Sometimes, this can even lead to people judging the person that gets out of the vehicle. When a person has a disability, it is their responsibility to inform the DMV to receive the handicap permit. These individuals do not have to justify their needs with every envious person in the parking lot. There are many disabilities that can limit a person’s ability to travel distances that are not easily apparent. Many of these invisible disabilities are found here. It is important to remember that these individuals already provided their documentation to the proper authorities and should not be harassed by individuals in a parking lot.
Follow the Rules of Handicap Parking
Handicap parking permits and the use of those specially designated spaces is considered a privilege. This means that improper use of the placards can cause a person to lose their parking rights. It is important to follow all of the rules that accompany the handicapped parking permit. One very important rule is to not lend out a handicap placard. This is a permit to assist a person who is disabled and not to provide easier parking for anyone. Any abuse of these rules can result in the cancellation of the permit or even fraud charges. A list of the common rules can be found here. It is also important to use the parking spaces respectfully. This means only using the type of handicap parking needed. Do not use the van-accessible parking spots unless it is the type of parking specifically needed. This could prevent a person who does need the space inability to get to the facility.
Handicap-accessible parking and handicap parking permits help to make communities more accessible for everyone. It is important to keep in mind that the people who need and use these parking spaces are already facing limitations in their daily lives. Providing them the courtesy and respect they deserve when using these spaces helps to make those individuals more comfortable in the community and makes the community stronger.