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Sign Photo: Handicap Parking Space Sign

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Disabled Parking

A disabled parking permit, also known as a handicapped permit, disabled placard, disabled badge and "Blue Badge" in the European Union, is displayed upon parking a vehicle carrying a person whose mobility would be otherwise significantly impaired by one or more of age, illness, disability or infirmity. The permit allows exemption from street-parking charges in some places and is used to park within dedicated disabled parking spaces reserved for people who have satisfied requirements to receive the placard.

In the United States, reserved spaces are mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines.

Disabled parking permits generally take the form of either specially marked license plates or a placard that hangs from the rear-view mirror. Plates are generally used for disabled drivers on their personal vehicle, while the portable placard can be moved from one vehicle to another with the disabled person, both when driving or when being transported by another driver.

The medical requirements to obtain a permit vary by state, but usually are confined to specific types of disabilities or conditions. These as a general rule include the use of any assistive device such as a wheelchair, crutches, or cane, as well as a missing leg or foot. Many states also include certain cardiovascular conditions, respiratory problems, and conditions that cause pain while ambulating or otherwise require the person to rest after walking a very short distance. About half of US states (26) include blindness as a disability that can obtain a placard (for use as a passenger) and 14 states include a missing or maimed hand. Four states include deafness, and only two states (Virginia and New York) include mental illness or developmental disabilities.

Most if not all states have blue permits for people with lasting or permanent disabilities, and temporary permits that are red or another color for short term conditions such as broken legs or recovering from surgery.

The availability of specially reserved parking spaces is regulated by both federal and state laws. Generally at least one space is available at any public parking location, with more being required based on the size of the parking lot and in some cases the type of location, such as a health care facility. Parking spaces reserved for the disabled are typically marked with the International Symbol of Access, though in practice, the design of the symbol varies widely. Anyone parking in such reserved spaces must have their plate or mirror placard displayed, or else the car can be ticketed for illegal parking. In some major US cities, local law also allows such vehicles to park for free at city parking meters and also exempts from time limits on time parked. Fraudulent use of another person's permit is heavily fined.

If traveling from other countries, requirements to obtain a parking permit vary from state to state. Some states will honour other country permits, while others require application as a visitor/tourist.

(Source: Wikipedia.org)

 

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