New handicap placards will help prevent fraud

Published 1:20 pm Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Disabled people who legitimately need handicap placards should have them, without question.

No one who isn’t disabled or handicapped should have any business parking in handicapped spots at shopping centers, restaurants or other public places. Handicapped spots are intended for people who have trouble walking, who are in wheelchairs or have other health issues that require them to have handicap placards.

We see it all too often at shopping centers, when people who walk without a disability and have no handicap placard in their vehicle park anyway in handicapped spots and run inside to get what they need. This is not only wrong and inconsiderate, it is also illegal.

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In an effort to cut down on abuses such as this, including instances of people altering handicap placards to use for themselves when they don’t need them, House Bill 8 was passed in the Kentucky Legislature this past session. The bill, which is now law, implements several new rules regarding the placard design, software system and functionality.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing is now creating new handicap placards aimed at reducing instances of fraud.

For both temporary and permanent placards, the new decals will feature printed expiration dates as opposed to handwritten dates – which could easily be altered – and will be tied to an individual instead of a vehicle. In addition, a disabled person’s parents or guardians can now apply on behalf of the disabled person.

Permanent placards will now be valid for six years and will expire on the placard holders’ birth month to maximize convenience.

These new measures created by the state make it much harder to alter these handicap placards, which is a step in the right direction. It will also make it harder for people who don’t need or deserve handicap placards to obtain them.

Once again, it was time for our state to put its foot down in dealing with those who abuse handicap placards. We’re glad our leaders did something about it and we are hopeful that it will benefit those who truly do need these placards.

The Daily News of Bowling Green