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More physically disabled plates

Published (2/22/2008)
By Mike Cook
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People who are physically disabled might be able to travel around more easily and with less hassle.

Sponsored by Rep. Lyndon Carlson (DFL-Crystal), HF2408 would permit someone to receive up to two sets of disability license plates for their motor vehicles.

The bill was approved Feb. 20 by the House Transportation and Transit Policy Subcommittee and sent to the House Transportation Finance Division.

Carlson said current law allows a qualifying individual to receive up to two disability placards or one set of disability plates and one placard.

That can be problematic when an individual drives or rides in a vehicle without disability plates and also forgets their placard.

Carlson said the bill was brought to his attention by a man who works in a parking ramp at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale. He said people talk to him almost daily because they are tagged for not having their placard visible in the vehicle.

“He thought, and I concurred, that an easy solution would be to allow them to have two sets of license plates, and then they wouldn’t have to worry about moving the placard from one car to the other or forgetting to display it, which sometimes happen,” Carlson said.

Rep. Bernie Lieder (DFL-Crookston) wants to ensure that someone with a temporary disability could not get plates for the year, when they are only needed for few months.

“Unless this is specific to someone with a permanent disability, you could have people that should get a temporary placard getting a full-year plate,” he said. “Are we going to recreate the problem we had before when the disability community came in and were complaining that they were being usurped by people who weren’t disabled?”

A companion bill (SF2204), sponsored by Sen. Linda Scheid (DFL-Brooklyn Park), awaits action by the Senate Transportation Committee.

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