Lawmakers: Stop Handicapped Parking Cheats

Feb 29, 2016

Lifetime handicapped parking permits would become a thing of the past if a bill in the Iowa Senate becomes law.

Lawmakers say some drivers may be acquiring permits from other family members, and using them to take up parking spaces reserved for drivers with real disabilities. 

Statehouse lobbyist Brian Johnson has a permanent disability.  

He believes some drivers are using permits passed down to them from parents or grandparents.

“You have to be careful to judge people as they come out of their vehicles,” Johnson says.   “But I think there's a lot of them out there that shouldn't be used and if we could draw them in it would be beneficial for people who really need them.”  

Sen. Dick Dearden (D-Des Moines) says he has seen some questionable use of the permits.

“Sometimes I think people put these placards in their wills and they’re passed down from generation to generation,” Dearden says.  “I don’t want to judge folks because some may be legitimate, but I’m worried about those that are not.”

The bill would grandfather in current holders of lifetime permits, but in the future drivers with permanent disabilities would have to renew the permit every five years.     One advocate for disabled drivers said that would put an unfair burden on the legitimately handicapped.

The bill has already passed the Iowa House.