Finally! Good News Out of Olympia!
Posted: March 21st, 2014 under Councilmember Rasmussen.
I’m proud to report that this year’s state legislative session in Olympia included passage of an important bill that will help curb the rampant unauthorized use of disabled parking placards within Seattle. For years, people without disability have been illegally using the placards to get free street parking, thus taking up spaces for those who need it most.
People have been expressing concern about what appears to be unauthorized use of the placards. Indeed it is true. In 2011, Seattle reported that over half of disabled placards were being used fraudulently. That’s not fair to our disabled community, and it’s not fair to other drivers who need on street parking and would pay for it.
After several years of stakeholder working groups, input from our Seattle Police Department and Department of Transportation, HB 2463 passed the House and Senate unanimously shortly before the State Legislature adjourned for this year. The bill will be signed into law by Governor Inslee in the coming weeks. I have been personally advocating to state legislators to take on this issue and to pass reform legislation. We just squeaked through with victory in the final days.
HB 2463 takes several steps to decrease the number of unlawful uses of special parking privileges for persons with disabilities. The bill:
- Establishes a parking infraction for a person’s improper display of his or her parking placard.
- Allows a court to order a person to surrender his or her parking placard for a violation of the laws regarding special parking privileges for persons with disabilities.
- Creates a misdemeanor for a person to sell a parking placard.
- Requires a health care practitioner to authorize and renew special parking privileges for a person.
I thank members of the House and Senate for passing this important piece of legislation. I also thank members of the disability community who worked with me to make sure this bill does not negatively impact them.
More work on transportation issues remains to be done in Olympia, including passage of a comprehensive transportation bill that addresses our long and growing list of transit and infrastructure needs throughout the state. I look forward to continuing to work with state legislators on transportation issues and other issues affecting the disability community in Seattle.
If you need more information on disabled parking in Seattle, please visit the Seattle Department of Transportation’s website to learn more about our current regulations. Information on applying for or renewing a disabled parking placard can be found at the Washington State Department of Licensing.