Those little placards hanging off the rearview mirror help make life easier for people dealing with disabilities but they also are prime to be used by those not in need.
One state is seeking to curb fraud associated with the handicapped parking program while ensuring that handicap spots are there for those truly in need.
“For New Jerseyans with a disability, these designated parking spaces can mean the difference between being able to comfortably go to a store or doctor,” Motor Vehicle Commission Chairman & Chief Administrator Raymond Martinez said in a press release. “These changes to the parking privileges law will better serve those who truly need them, while also preventing future abuse of the placard and license plate program.”
Martinez announced changes to the state’s program during an event in Bridgewater Wednesday.
Effective Aug. 1, people with a disability will be required to have their medical conditions recertified every three years by a qualified medical practitioner to receive a placard to put on the rearview mirror.
Currently more than half a million people in New Jersey have a handicap placard that can be used in any car they are driving in.
The state also is changing the design of the handicapped placards to include a visible expiration date.
“Placards must be accompanied by an identification card…” said Martinez. “The person identified on the card may either be the driver or a passenger in that vehicle but the card is non-transferable and will be confiscated if presented by another person.”
All the new rules will be posted on the MVC’s website and mailed out to current placard holders, according to the agency.