According to Frankfort Police Capt. Chris Quire, the department gets calls fairly often about handicapped parking enforcement, especially in store parking lots.
“It’s Officer Byron Redmon’s pet peeve,” Quire said. “He looks for them when he’s shopping — even (when he’s) off-duty.”
Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said his deputies issue tickets if a motorist is caught without proper handicap parking credentials, but added that the amount of written tickets is likely not very high.
According to state law, a medical professional must certify a handicap in order for someone to be eligible for a disability parking permit or license plate.
There are two types of permits — license plates, for those with permanent disabilities and disabled veterans, and placards for those with temporary or permanent disabilities. Temporary placards are valid for up to three months. Permanent parking placards expire after six years. License plates are good for one year and expire on July 31.
While both permits allow parking in designated handicap parking spaces, they also require the disabled person to be in the vehicle.
In order to qualify for a disabled parking permit, residents must fill out an application and have it notarized, certified and signed by a licensed physician, chiropractor or advanced practice registered nurse.
License plates cost $21 except for disabled veteran plates, which are free.
Under a new law that went into effect Sept. 17, placards are issued to a person, not a vehicle, and are free for the first one and $10 for the second. Before the change, which was passed in an effort to reduce the number of placards being used by the non-disabled, drivers were able to obtain two placards for free.
From January through July, Franklin County Clerk Jeff Hancock’s office distributed 2,360 disabled placards.
“Most people get two,” Hancock said. “So the number of people who have received them is probably between 1,100-1,200.”