The Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission urges Arkansans to follow Arkansas state laws and use accessible parking spaces only if you are legally eligible.
Shoppers looking to take advantage of Black Friday specials and early holiday sales need to be aware of where they park. The holidays bring lots of bargains to shoppers, including those persons with disabilities and their caretakers.
“We urge Arkansans to be courteous and considerate parkers. Each year during the holidays we experience a higher volume of accessible parking abuse,” said Patti Rogers, ASCC executive director. “Our mission is to ensure that those spaces are reserved and available to those whom require accessible parking at area retailers, grocery stores and other venues.”
According to ASCC, One of the greatest abuses is by friends or family members of the person to whom the plate or placard has been issued. They will use the spaces for their own convenience, even when the person is not in the car, and this is against the law.
Some additional reminders from the Commission
• Do not park in an accessible space without a state issued special plate or placard, even if you are having mobility problems.
• If you have a disabled plate or placard, never allow anyone to use it to park in an accessible parking space unless you are in the vehicle and plan to exit. Not even ‘just for a minute.’
• If the plate or placard holder will not be exiting the vehicle, do not park in accessible parking — it is reserved for those folks exiting their vehicles. You can easily sit and wait in a regular space.
• Never park in the lined area next to an accessible space. It is there to allow enough space to unfold a van lift or load a wheelchair — you could block someone’s ability to get in or out of his or her vehicle.
• Only vehicles that load or unload a wheelchair or other related mobility device may use those accessible parking spaces designated as “van accessible.”
For additional information about accessible parking plates and placards, contact your local Arkansas Revenue Office or visit the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration’s website: www.dfa.arkansas.gov/offices/motorVehicle/Pages/specialityPlates.aspx.
People can report accessible parking abuse by calling 800-459-1517. Make sure you make note of the placard number or license plate number and location of the vehicle. A compliant form will be added on the ASCC website at www.sponalcord.ar.gov.
Information in joining the ASCC Accessible Task Force statewide effort will be posted on the ASCC website, or concerned citizens may call 501-296-1788.