Public offers ideas on preventing misuse of disabled parking permits

Washington residents have a few ideas on how to curb abuse of disabled parking placards.

They are sending them to a work group tasked by the Legislature with determining the extent of the problem and recommending changes in state law to deal with it.

Fifty-one suggestions had been received as of earlier this week, said Christine Anthony, spokeswoman for the state Department of Licensing which is piloting the effort.

The pile of ideas include imposing stiffer penalties for misuse of a placard, creating a hotline to handle reports of abuse and enforcing existing laws better.

Other ideas include requiring placards be renewed more often, tracking the number of times a physician signs paperwork enabling someone to obtain a placard and eliminating the free parking privilege for those with valid placards or special licenses plates.

There is still time to weigh in. The work group will accept suggestions by email through Oct. 15. Send them to DPWorkgroup@dol.wa.gov.

The panel’s report to the Legislature is due Dec. 1.

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