South Carolina moves to reduce handicap parking abuse

Image by Flickr user {Guerrilla Futures | Jason Tester} Image by 20090521-handicap.jpg The act of creation.

Legislation that would make it harder for people who don't need handicap parking to abuse the system has finally cleared the Legislature.

“We’ve worked for three years to pass this reform. Too many people are abusing the current decal system," said State Senator Vincent Sheheen (D-Camden). "This new law puts safeguards in place for folks who are truly in need of the easy access they deserve. It helps keep truly handicapped citizens from circling a parking lot searching for a parking space."

Among other things, the special license tags bill sets more clearly defined standards for who qualifies as disabled, and requires that hanging placards now have the user's photos. The bill also creates a red placard for those that only need the pass temporarily.

Currently expired temporary passes are hard to distinguish from permanent ones -- a problem that often resulted in the passes being passed around.

Last year The Post and Courier did some digging into chronic local abuses of the state's handicap tag system.

Update May 22: The Post and Courier has a more flushed-out write-up. Go take a read.

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