Proposal would increase handicap-parking fines in Carson City |

Proposal would increase handicap-parking fines in Carson City

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

Fines for undeservedly using handicap-parking spaces around Carson City are expected to increase soon.

City officials will introduce an update of the municipal code as it relates to handicap-parking violations during the Board of Supervisors meeting Thursday.

The local fine is far below what the state prescribes: $100 versus the $250 that would be levied under a new rule.

It’s a rule change that needs to occur so the city is more in sync with state law, said Melanie Bruketta, chief civil deputy of the district attorney’s office.

Many of the drivers being written up for not having placards have forgotten to place them in their cars so code-enforcement employees can see them.

Or sometimes people forget to bring them entirely, said Kevin McCoy, the city’s code-enforcement officer.

McCoy estimates “the majority of tickets” for handicap-parking violations are against vehicles in which the placards either “weren’t properly placed or forgotten altogether,” he said.

The city usually voids the ticket once the person who receives it produces proof he or she has a handicap-parking placard, said Al Kramer, the city’s treasurer.

McCoy and Kramer are considering an administrative fee to better encourage people to remember. First offenses still could be forgiven, but people who subsequently slip up might have to pay an administrative fee, for example.

Forgiving someone for not displaying his or her placard isn’t a requirement. The city does it “to be humane,” Kramer said.

The fee isn’t part of the proposal. Whether it’s viable still needs to be determined, both men emphasized.

While the state Department of Motor Vehicles doesn’t keep tabs how many placards versus how many handicap license plates are given out, the placards are more popular because people who don’t drive can carry them and put them up in the vehicles of whomever gives them a ride, said Tom Jacobs, an DMV spokesman.

“Placards are far more popular,” he said. They allow “some flexibility” not afforded with the plates.

There are short-term and permanent handicap placards and license plates. Long-term handicap-parking arrangements need to be re-established every 10 years, Jacobs said.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.

If you go

WHAT: Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. Thursday

WHERE: Sierra Room, Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.