Disability License Plates
There are many individuals who require accessible parking spaces when parking their car in public areas. In order to ensure they are free for those who require it, the parking spots will have some sort of signage to let drivers know they require a disabled placard if they wish to park there. These parking spots can be seen in public spaces like malls, restaurants, parking lots, and as many other places as possible. However, if someone misuses a disability placard and parks in said designated space, they are in violation of the California Vehicle Code.
According to California Vehicle Code 4461, there are various ways in which an individual can misuse a disabled placard, leading to a violation. The code explains that it is not only a crime if a car is parked in a handicapped spot without the proper placard, but also when an individual uses the disabled placard of another person or when a disabled person allows another to use their placard. For example, if an individual who legally possesses a disabled placard lends it to another person, knowing the person will use it to access disability areas, a crime has been committed. There is an exception to this rule. If a disabled person, who requires to be transported somewhere, lends their placard to an able-bodied person for the purpose of that transport, a violation has not occurred.
Furthermore, in addition to the aforementioned violations, simply using and displaying a placard issued to someone is also not allowed by the Vehicle Code. Such a violation can occur regardless of whether the car with the placard is in an accessible parking space or not. Those who are found to be violating Vehicle Code 4461 can face either an infraction or a misdemeanor. The infraction requires the payment of a fine, whereas the misdemeanor conviction can lead to possible jail time. Whether it is an infraction or a misdemeanor depends on the history of the defendant and the context of the crime.