Residents Reminded to Respect Accessible Parking Spaces

Feb. 8, 2012 

Residents are reminded that parking spaces marked for accessibility are to be occupied only by authorized persons in vehicles with properly displayed placards or license plates. The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that gives people with disabilities the right to access public programs and public accommodations. Having accessible parking spaces, and the ability to reserve those spaces for people with disabilities, is vital for access.

There are two ways of identifying a driver or passenger as a person with a disability who needs accessible parking: through a placard that hangs from the rearview mirror or a special license plate. To be eligible for either, a person needs to have a temporary or permanent disability that limits or impairs the ability to walk, or creates a safety concern while walking. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues those placards and plates.

It is unlawful to park in a space reserved for a person with a disability without displaying an accessibility placard or plate, or to allow anyone to use accessibility placards or plates to park in an accessible parking space unless the person is transporting the bearer of the placard or plate. A conviction could result in fines of up to $500, and in the case of misuse, the owner may be required to surrender the placard or plates.

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