Picture-Perfect Parking Placard

Handicapped parking is at a premium, especially in highly-populated, urban cities. South Carolina is among several states that have changed the regulations for obtaining a parking placard. As of January 1, 2013, all South Carolinians who have the handicapped placards must have a photo of the individual with the disability on the placards. Photos will serve as verification and should curb the abuse of using someone else’s placard. The PhotoVoice Project is credited, in part, to the passage of the new legislation.

In addition to adding photos, the parking fine has increased. Instead of a minimum ticket of $500, the payout is a minimum of $1000. However, these new regulations will only be effective if the law is enforced. Since it’s only been about two months since everyone was required to have the new placards, I’m not sure if there has been a decrease in parking violations. It will be interesting to see if positive changes will occur since the new regulations have been established.

Medical professionals also have stricter guidelines to follow when approving someone with a placard or license plate. They must provide a prescription in addition to the required DMV form. Even with these modifications, accessible parking may continue to be an issue in society. There is already a high demand for these spots, and I don’t think the issue will be completely resolved until more handicapped spaces are created.

With the advancements in technology, individuals are taking the power of parking management into their own hands. Parking Mobility and Handicapped Fraud are among the many apps and websites allowing consumers to report parking violators. While I haven’t tried these apps, it’s proving that consumers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to enforcing the law.

Do you think photos on handicapped placards will improve the parking situation?

About Tuesday Talk With Alex

Born in Charleston, SC, I was injured in a motor vehicle accident when I was nine months old. I acquired a C5-C6 spinal cord injury. I'm now 30 years old and I do not let my disability deter me from acheiving my goals and enjoying life. I will be sharing my experience of living with a spinal cord injury.
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2 Responses to Picture-Perfect Parking Placard

  1. Thomas says:

    Enforcement with placards that have pictures still requires officers to verify people getting in/out of vehicles and matching to the placard. Sometimes it is obvious that someone is using another’s placard based on the picture but unless an officer can catch the individual getting in or out of the vehicle I think it will be hard to enforce. Progress, but still not a perfect system. There are many issues with parking though and it usually comes down to the individual with the placard and considerate judgement. I have seen people park in a handicapped spot ONE spot over from a non-handicapped spot and they did not require the use of a wheelchair or need space for a ramp. I think the best (but more expensive) option would be to have placards with RF ID chips installed and parking spots have RF ID readers. Similar to an EZ Pass at a toll booth. If the RF ID reader senses a car with an invalid or non-existent RF ID then it could theoretically send an automated message to law enforcement. Maybe the fines would eventually surpass the initial costs for the systems. I might need to patent that idea..


  2. cmalcolm55 says:

    Actually, I don’t think the picture will be a major factor unless an officer is able to actually see a person entering or exiting their vehicle.
    I will agree that the awareness is definitely a step in the right direction.


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