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City wants to crack down on handicapped parking cheaters

SEATTLE — Everybody knows how hard it is to find parking in Seattle, but have you noticed the number of handicapped parking placards hanging from rearview mirrors?

parkThe city has –- and now they and the state are taking a hard look at who has those privileges and why.

It’s pretty clear some drivers are cheating the system, but if you have one of those placards or a disabled license plate, you get to park almost anywhere and for as long as you want for free.

The city estimates that in some neighborhoods three out of every four cars has a handicap permit.

“That is disproportional to the number that we believe should be around the neighborhood,” Cristina Van Valkenburgh with the Seattle Department of Transportation said.

There are drivers who legitimately need handicapped parking, but officials said abuse is rampant.

“There is a misuse of the parking placards,” Van Valkenburgh said.

The Department of Licensing issues more than 730,000 disabled parking permits statewide and each successful applicant can get two placards.

Parking administrators want to hear your ideas on how to cut down on the cheating — you can send them an email at or post on our Facebook page or tweet us @q13fox.

The panel looking into this issue will make a recommendation to lawmakers on Dec. 1.

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  • Roxie

    My husband and myself both have placards, The lady on the news complaining about someone had a placard and was mad because she was parked in a spot she wanted and stated "She didn't even need the placard" how dose she know the person did not need it just by seeing the person sitting in her car. You need a doctor to fill out a form explaining why you need it. They don't just hand them out to anybody.

  • Kevin

    It is so bad that people who are truly disabled (ie in a wheelchair) cannot even get disabled parking. Some of these people who misuse these placards have no shame

  • who cares

    cheaters? dont get mad cuz the system you made sucks and your just now noticing it… if your handicapped you probly shouldnt be driving… just sayin… if you cant turn a wheel dont drive if you cant keep the gas at the right speed dont drive if you cant turn your head properly dont drive. saw a handicaped driver on west marginal doing 40 in a 60… then he pointed to his placard as if im the AS% H*%$… F*%$&*% PUNK AS# BI%&*@'$

  • Xuven

    I have a placard but don't always use it, if there are normal spots reasonably I leave the HC spots for someone who may need it worse than me. One thing I do disagree with is Dr.'s filling out the paper for someone that is just to fat and lazy to walk, one of my old Dr.'s would tell you that you should park in the furthest spot and walk to try and drop the weight.
    And I do know people that have them… But the placard don't belong to them.

  • Jack

    The rules for issuing placards/plates need to be revised. Handicap parking should be reserved for those who actually need it. The feeling of needing something and it's not there is way different than the feeling of wanting something and not getting it. If you need the handicap parking and it's not there, the only alternative is to leave and come back another time. If you want the handicap parking and it's not there you'll probably just park in the next closest spot and continue on with your business.

    Or to put it another way. If someone offered you $100,000 to park in the middle of the parking lot and walk into the store, would you take them up on their offer? If the answer is yes, you don't NEED a handicap placard.

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