NJ Handicap Placard Abuse - New York News

NJ Handicap Placard Abuse

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Trenton, New Jersey (My9NJ) -

Some New Jersey state workers in Trenton have been abusing handicap placards in order to park illegally and not pay the meters when they are clearly not disabled. Trenton police are aware of this widespread problem and are now cracking down on handicap placard abuse.

Police approached a state employee on West State Street in Trenton while she was walking to her car that was parked in a spot with an expired meter and clearly displayed a handicap placard on her rear view mirror. The police officer confiscated the placard since it did not belong to her. She was also unable to produce her driver’s license and registration documents, and her car was then towed.

On any given day in Trenton there are lines of cars with handicap placards and expired meters. About 90% of parking spots are occupied by handicap placarded cars, according to police. Are there really that many handicapped people working in Trenton? Or is this just evidence of handicap placard abuse?

Lieutenant Donald Winters of the Trenton Police Department said “We did find, as you saw earlier today, they’re borrowing placards, they’re getting one’s that are expired, and they’re using them to park here all day.”

About 1 in 12 NJ drivers have handicap placards. All that’s needed to get a handicap placard is for some sort of medical practitioner, like a nurse or chiropractor, to tell the DMV that someone is unable to walk 200 feet without stopping.

The Motor Vehicle Commission has required people who apply for handicap placards to resubmit medical certification every three years. Before it was just resubmitting an application, which was essentially an automatic renewal. The DMV knows it’s a problem, and they are working towards lowering the amount of placards in the state.

Some question if the system of handicap parking is even needed anymore. With the definition of handicap being so broad, how is it really helping? Others say it’s not the parking spots that are the problem, it’s the fraud.

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