For Immediate ReleasePress Contact: Jennifer Coats, Public Information Officer, (510) 981-5780
PARKING ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO CITE FOR DISABLED PLACARD ABUSE
Berkeley, California (Thursday, August 30, 2012) - Berkeley, California (August 30, 2012) - Starting in September, Berkeley Police Department (BPD) Parking Enforcement Officers (PEO) will begin enforcing laws related to the fraudulent use of disabled placards or plates when parking.
Working with the input of the City of Berkeley Commission on Disability, the BPD Parking Enforcement division is being trained to conduct disabled placard abuse enforcement. PEOs will begin enforcement efforts on September 3, 2012.
BPD Chief Michael K. Meehan stated “It’s an unfortunate truth, but the abuse of disabled placards is not unusual in Berkeley. We hope people realize how much of an impact the fraudulent use of placards has on our community, and that people choose not to use them illegally. By providing our Parking Enforcement Officers with the ability to enforce these laws, we are taking action to protect and preserve parking spaces for legitimate placard holders.”
The abuse of disabled placards and plates limits the number of available accessible parking spaces for people with disabilities and hurts local businesses by limiting the parking space turnover. The fraudulent use of disabled placards and plates has become a problem throughout California.
The recent passing of Assembly Bill 144, effective January of 2010 allows PEOs to issue citations for the illegal use of disabled placards or plates. Previously, only police officers were allowed to enforce the disabled placard law.
Upon request persons must present their identification and evidence of issuance of the placard or plate in their name to an authorized authority. The use of someone else’s placard or plates, without them being present is a violation. Violators can be subject to a $1,000 fine and confiscation of the disabled placard.
PEOs are in a unique position to observe, monitor and address violations while performing their daily duties. BPD and the PEOs are focused on the abusive use of disabled placards and making parking accessible to all community members.