Ask the Experts - What can parking organizations be doing to reduce Accessible Parking Placard fraud and misuse?

What can parking organizations be doing to reduce Accessible Parking Placard fraud and misuse?



Linda Kauffman
Vice President of Industry Solutions
T2 Systems

First, the organization needs to look at its policies and laws.  If the parker with a placard is given "free" parking when others are not, the organization is setting themselves up for even more abuse.  The second thing to reference is your policy on abuse.  If you know of a placard or plate that is being abused, get involved with the state that issued it to see if there is anything you can do to help them find the fraud.  Advertise that you will not tolerate abuse. Help your state understand the need to control the placards, have better accountability in issuing them, and have expiration dates on them.  Amazingly many states issue them without expirations making them cherished family heirlooms.


Brian Shaw
Senior Planner
Sam Schwartz Engineering

One suggestion is to require a note from a doctor to demonstrate eligibility.   We did this at the University of Chicago before allowing anyone a disabled parking accommodation.  We also had our compliance officer discuss the need with the requestors' physician.  If they approved, they we would issue the handicapped parking permit.  But our HC permits were never free and were only sold at market rate.  Some parking areas were more expensive than others so someone who needed an accommodation must really want it to pay the higher cost for the permit.  When HC parking is free or cheaper, there will be abuse.


Roamy Valera, CAPP
Vice President / Regional Manager
Standard Parking Corporation

The simple answer is "Political Will" - the ability to adopt simple ordinance that addresses the industry wide abuse of placards.


Derek Kiley
WPS North America

This remains a very complex issue with respect to (a) the qualifications required to obtain the placard and (b) the use/abuse of parked vehicles displaying the placard. I am sure we have all witnessed the use of occupied spaces by patrons that have no apparent disability. If each placard can be tied to the vehicle plate - then use can be better managed with web searches by lot owners; however does not address the fact that the vehicle driver may have borrowed the car and decided to use all the advantages associated to it.


John Nolte, CAPP
Studies Specialist
Carl Walker, Inc.

Emphasizing enforcement is the first step.  In my experience, these scofflaws use expired tags, expired permits, park over time limits and other things that tip authorities that they are illegally or improperly using the spaces at the expense of those who truly need them.  Establishing the link between the permit holder and the user is the next step. Where there is not link, there is probably an abuse.  Some local or state laws may need updating to require the permit holder to be in the vehicle when it is being used.  Strict application of legal consequences on violators is extremely important to breaking the abuse and misuse cycle.  These steps are strengthened by a solid working relationship with the community of accessible parking users.  The more attention users of accessible spaces are receiving, the higher the compliance level.  Violators do not like to get caught.