Friday, November 30, 2012

NJ Senate Approves Disables Parking Reform

Legislation sponsored by Senators Diane Allen (R- Burlington) and Joe Pennacchio (R- Morris) updating state laws to prevent abuse and wrongful issuance of disabled parking placards has been approved by the full Senate.

“Every time someone who is not disabled inappropriately obtains or uses a placard, he or she takes that parking space away from someone truly in need,” said Allen.  “This bill makes commonsense changes to process of obtaining a ‘wheelchair placard’ that ensure proper verification of one’s disability on an ongoing basis.”

Under the Senators’ bill (S-2238) the application for persons with disabilities identification cards and parking privileges would require a signed verification by a physician, physicians assistant, licensed chiropractor, or nurse practitioner, of the applicant’s disability.  Placards would expire and require renewal every three years, and the fees to obtain persons with disabilities identification cards and parking placards would be waived.

Florida, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and California exercise some or all of these restrictions.

Pennacchio joined Senator Allen as co-prime sponsor of the legislation because, he says, it protects the rights of the disabled.

“Disabled motorists and passengers have a right to reserved parking spaces and should not be displaced by others who do not qualify for the privilege,” said Pennacchio.  “By requiring renewal of parking placards with a doctor’s signature every three years, free of charge, we will make sure that only those with demonstrable need have access to these privileges.”

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