Bill could require disabled drivers to have photos on placards

Proposed bill could require disabled drivers to have photographs on permanent placards

Posted:
Kodak resident Terry Ivey has multiple sclerosis and is legally blind and says she had to wheel her chair from the back of a parking lot to the front entrance of a store because all of the spaces were taken. Kodak resident Terry Ivey has multiple sclerosis and is legally blind and says she had to wheel her chair from the back of a parking lot to the front entrance of a store because all of the spaces were taken.
Lawmakers are looking to crack down on people misusing handicapped parking spaces and putting a handicapped placard on their car mirrors when they don't really need it. Lawmakers are looking to crack down on people misusing handicapped parking spaces and putting a handicapped placard on their car mirrors when they don't really need it.

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KODAK (WATE) - Lawmakers are looking to crack down on people misusing handicapped parking spaces and putting a handicapped placard on their car mirrors when they don't really need it.

The specifics of the bill are still being worked out and legislators are considering adding an amendment to change the requirements, but for now the bill would require disabled drivers with permanent placards to include a photograph as long as the person is at least 18 years old.

Some disabled people told 6 News they worry the change could make them targets.

Kodak resident Terry Ivey has multiple sclerosis and is legally blind. She has difficulty moving her arms and legs and relies on the help of her family.

Ivey said on one occasion, she had to wheel her chair from the back of a parking lot to the front entrance of a store because all of the spaces were taken.

"It was very scary," Ivey said. "I was so afraid someone was going to hit me. If I can't hold a coffee cup and they can unload all the heavy stuff, no, then they don't even have hidden problems."

But some disabled people point out that not everyone's disability is visible.

The proposed bill will not change how or why someone receives a placard – it will still be up to the discretion of a doctor. Instead, the bill is meant to cut down on fraud by people who either steal the placards or intentionally misuse them.

"This concern was brought to me by a constituent who had observed several abuses on several different occasions," Oak Ridge Rep. John Ragan said. "We're not trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist. This problem truly exists."

Ragan said lawmakers may scrap the photograph requirement because it comes with a one-time expense of $60,000.

They may replace it with a different requirement such as including a description of the car or cars on the placard.

The bill will be presented to the Senate Transportation Committee March 13.

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.