FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3/20/2014
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen
Councilmember Rasmussen heralds passage of disabled parking placard reform
SEATTLE – Councilmember Tom Rasmussen released the following statement today on the State Legislature’s passage of House Bill (HB) 2463, which addresses unauthorized use of disabled parking placards:
"Seattle police have told me over half of disabled placards are being used fraudulently so people without disabilities can get free street parking. Our hands have been tied, but following a multi-year reform effort, HB 2463 has the muscle that will allow us to help curb that misuse," said Rasmussen, Chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee. Having previously served as Director for the Seattle Mayor’s Office for Senior Citizens, Rasmussen has long-been a leading advocate for seniors and people with disabilities. "I thank members of the House and Senate for unanimously passing this important piece of legislation," Rasmussen added.
"This reform is an important step toward curbing abuse of disabled parking placards, and I was pleased to see its adoption," said Toby Olson, Executive Secretary of the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment. "More work remains to be done to ensure those with disabilities have easy access to street parking, but this legislation is an encouraging move in the right direction."
The impetus behind HB 2463 was the work of a 2013 stakeholder working group convened by the Department of Licensing. HB 2463 is intended to decrease the number of unlawful uses of special parking privileges for persons with disabilities; and, to provide local jurisdictions with the authority to improve their administration of on-street parking. HB 2463 will also serve to help ensure parking spots are available to those who need it most by clarifying the prohibitions against misuse of a placard, and making it a misdemeanor to sell a placard or to obtain one wrongfully; requiring health care practitioners to authorize and renew special parking privileges; establishing a parking infraction for improper display of parking placards; and, addressing other illegal activity that has occurred.