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Mercury News Roadshow column
San Jose Mercury News - 1/7/2018
Jan. 07--Q: I often see family members who are not disabled use a handicapped parking placard belonging to another family member. I can't count the number of times I've seen folks put up the placard and bounce out of their cars to go into a store.
I realize you'd have to have patrols in every parking lot in town to enforce this, but it's frustrating when you know it's being abused in this way. I saw a young woman and a little girl park in the handicap area, put up a placard, and skip -- yes skip -- into Staples in Cupertino.
Los Altos Hills
A: The DMV says family members and friends make up the majority of disabled parking cheaters. But that may change. The state is on pace to issue nearly 2,900 tickets this fiscal year, up from 1,625 citations handed out in 2016-17 in more than 124 sting operations. Fines range from $250 to $1,000.
Remember that some disabilities are not visually apparent and allegations of misuse may be unfounded, so don't confront the other driver.
But you can report possible abusers by going to the DMV website at dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/about/dppp_outreach to file an online complaint. Submissions are confidential.
Q: I'm one of those weirdos who has a motorcycle with a handicap license plate. For the curious, I have mobility issues stemming from central nervous system damage; I can't walk more than 25 feet or so without using forearm crutches, and even then I'm limited in range, but I can ride on my motorcycle just fine.
When I go on rides with friends, we often park all three of our bikes in the same parking space so we don't take up a lot of room. Since I'm allowed to park in a handicap space and often do, can my friends park in front of me and share the same space?
A: Sorry, no. The disabled person parking space is only reserved for the motorcycle with the disabled plate.
Q: One of my areas of concern is when I see an SUV with handicapped plates, then see an able-bodied person park in a handicapped space and emerge with no signs of a disability. Realizing not everyone shows their disability, but you have to be pretty darn flexible to exit and enter an SUV.
At 87, I have a handicapped plate and at times my son has to drive around several times to get a parking space for us to park. Are there DMV standards when issuing the plates or cards for an SUV?
Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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