Disabled Parking Q & A
Hello. My name is Dan Christianer. I am a volunteer with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office disability parking enforcement group. Our mission is to educate citizens about the "do’s and don’ts" regarding disabled parking, as well as to issue citations when violations do occur. Below are some frequently asked questions:
Q. Do I have to hang my placard from my rearview mirror?
A. No, you may display it on your dashboard also. We must be able to see the entire placard, including the placard id number, expiration date, and punch marks.
Q. We have more than one vehicle. Can we get an extra placard?
A. No. Only one placard is issued per individual. You would need to move it whichever vehicle you are in.
Q. Can someone drive me around and use my placard?
A. Yes, as long as you are in the vehicle. If someone is running an errand for you without you present, they must park in a regular parking space.
Q. Please explain “Van Accessible” and “Wheelchair User Only” designations.
A. This is perhaps the most frequently asked question we receive. When you see a disabled parking spot with the additional sign that reads “Van Accessible” It means that the access aisle (the striped area alongside the space) is 2 feet wider to accommodate the lift mechanism many folks have in their vehicles. Anyone with a valid placard can park in one of these, regardless of whether they have a van or not.
“Wheelchair User Only” spaces are set aside by statute for individuals who require a wheelchair. Those spaces require a unique placard and are usually be found in larger parking lots. If you have a placard NOT designated for wheelchair users and park in a wheelchair user only space, you are committing a violation and are subject to a citation. A doctor can certify your need for a wheel chair user placard that can be obtained from DMV.
In addition, please remember that the access aisle must remain clear to allow a person to get in and out of their vehicle. Although it may be the perfect size for a motorcycle, or for dashing in a business for “just a second,” it’s simply not allowed.
All placards have an expiration date. It is a violation to use them beyond that date or to get creative with a marker and change the date.
Placards spend their time in the sun and can fade or disintegrate over time. Please do NOT write over any faded information. Simply go to DMV and get a replacement.
Finally, a word about the volunteers themselves. We dedicated men and women give freely of our time to make our county a better place to live. Please feel free to stop and say hello. And if you have any questions for us, or have an interest in becoming a volunteer, please contact the JCSO Disabled Parking Volunteer Coordinator at 541-774-6809.