Asssemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, Tuesday unveiled legislation designed to curb the fraudulent use of disability placards by motorists.
“Multiple news investigations have caught swindlers in the Los Angeles area using placards belonging to friends and relatives, including a deceased relative and a disabled sibling,” Gatto said.
“Other investigative reports showed hidden-camera footage of people fraudulently using placards at an airport, at meters in front of the gym (where) they worked out, and of a man selling placards on Craigslist,” he said.
According to Gato, there are about three million disabled parking placards in use in California — “in other words, one in every eight drivers has one.”
“While placards are most often used responsibly and for legitimate reasons, irresponsible and fraudulent placard use has become a significant concern,” he said.
AB 2602 would require the Department of Motor Vehicles to proactively retrieve expired parking placards; require individuals to reapply for parking placards upon expiration; and allow local jurisdictions to charge motorists displaying placards for the cost of parking “as long as the city offers sufficient, genuine parking options for disabled individuals,” Gatto said.
“California has been a leader among the states in providing equal opportunities to individuals with disabilities,” he said. “However, there are people who are trying to game the system and are taking parking away for every person struggling with a disability.”
Gatto represents the 43rd Assembly District, which includes Los Angeles, Glendale and Burbank.
—City News Service