Transportation Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-444

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING PARKING FOR PERSONS WHO ARE BLIND AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES WHICH LIMIT OR IMPAIR THE ABILITY TO WALK.

Vote Date:

3/13/2009

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/11/2009

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE

REASONS FOR BILL:

To curb the unlawful use of handicapped parking placards and specially designated parking spaces.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES - Supports

In fact DMV stated that, recently, applicants will now be limited to obtaining only one placard, and physicians will be required to provide their license number when completing an application for a placard. Also effective this month (March) DMV will run the Dept. of Public Health death records against the file of placard holders and will automatically cancel credentials of individuals identified as recently deceased.

State of Connecticut - Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities:

This proposal addresses a number of complaints our office hears from individuals with disabilities who depend on the availability of handicapped parking spaces to assure accessibility at their jobs, homes, transportations centers, public and commercial buildings. The provisions would signal an end to the current practice of granting open-ended permits to use handicapped parking, adopting instead reasonable standards for issuance and a generally workable process for periodic renewal.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Department of Services for Persons with Disabilities – New Haven

The State's program for distributing accessible parking permits has been plagued with problems for years. Often spaces are occupied by vehicles with a permit but the person it was issued to is not in the vehicle or by individuals that no longer have a need for the permit. By requiring renewals of permits, the State eliminates the re-use of permits after the person what it was issued to has passed away. Also individuals that no longer need a handicapped permit will no longer be allowed to use their permit indefinitely. After consulting with New Haven's police officers, the identifiable information on the permit such as a license number or state identification number will allow officers to easily determine if the person rightfully owns the placard.

New Haven Commission on Disabilities – strongly in favor of legislation – David Hicks, Chairman:

This is my third year speaking on the issue of Disability Parking. Since 2000, the state has issued Disability Parking Permits that don't expire. Over these 9 years the DMV has issued more than 400,000 lifetime permits. Massachusetts, with almost twice the population of CT, has issued only 278,000 permits which expire every 5 years. The issuance of lifetime permits ignores the fact some permit holders move out of state and others die. But their permits live on, and we have no means of removing them from the system. To fix the problem we must phase out the old placards and issue new ones that expire.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

NONE

Reported by: Edwina H. Futtner

3/20/09