Do Handicap Spots Have To Have Blue Lines?

Accessible parking is vital to many people, especially those with a disability that impacts mobility. If you’re new to the world of accessible parking, then you may have a lot of questions. “Do handicap spots have to have blue lines?” is just one of the many things that are important to know for those who utilize disabled parking. There are many things to understand about the different visual designation requirements for disabled parking spaces.

If you’re wondering how to know if a spot is a handicap parking spot, then keep reading. That and many other questions will be answered here!

The ADA and You

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), in conjunction with state laws, requires public agencies and private businesses to provide accessible parking. The number of spaces in each lot, as well as how they are marked, is dictated by the ADA, which is why signage is universal. Even older lots built before the law took effect to have to meet these requirements if lot is upgraded or a new one is built.

The location of disabled parking spots is also specified by law. They must be in a location that allows the most accessible and shortest route to a building. They also have to be a minimum of eight feet wide and have an aisle adjacent that is five feet wide; spots accessible for handicap vans must be 11 feet wide. A path to the building must also be provided.

disabled parking symbols and signage
Image by Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash: What do blue lines in a parking lot mean? It means you shouldn’t park there!

Do Handicap Signs Have To Be Blue?

Under the ADA, every disabled parking space has to be properly designated with signage. These signs must have the “Universal Symbol of Accessibility” on them – the standard image that comes to mind when you think about disabled parking spaces of a person in a wheelchair: a blue sign with white letters and symbols.

These signs must be blue – it’s the universal color so that they are recognizable no matter where you are in the United States. Aside from color, they also must be at least five feet off the ground so they can be seen even when a car is parked in the space. Spaces for accessible vans must say “van accessible” on the sign.

What Are The Yellow Lines Next To Handicapped Parking?

You may also have noticed yellow or blue lines next to disabled parking spots. What are those? The explanation is fairly straightforward: these are stripes that denote no one should park there because the extra space is needed in order for wheelchair users to deploy a ramp to get out of their van, or to have easier access in and out of their vehicle when transferring to and from their wheelchair.

Remember, if you see yellow or blue stripes in parking lots, those are for the use of disabled persons who may need the extra space to get in and out of their vehicles. They are not parking spots, and they are not areas where you can leave shopping carts or otherwise block in any fashion.

What If There’s No Handicap Parking Sign?

You may come across parking spaces that have handicap symbols printed on the ground but no other signage denoting that it is a handicap parking spot. This is against the ADA rules, as every parking space for disabled persons is supposed to be marked by a sign. There are no regulations for symbols on the pavement.

There are exceptions to signage laws under the ADA for parking lots that have four or fewer parking spaces. Residential lots with assigned parking spots also do not need to have signage denoting spaces as handicap parking spaces.

disabled parking universal access symbol
Image by AbsolutVision on Unsplash: How do you know if a spot is handicap parking? This Universal Symbol is the key!

The Americans with Disabilities Act is enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice. Violations of the ADA rules when it comes to parking spots against both businesses and individuals who don’t comply with parking requirements can be severe. There are civil penalties for non-compliance up to $150,000 – and that’s just for a first violation. The best rule of thumb if you own or operate a business or other public facility under the purview of the ADA is to understand the laws and follow them to the letter.

Disabled parking is very important to those who need it, and luckily, it’s pretty easy to spot the signs that let those with disabilities know where they can park for the best access.

Featured image by Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash

5 Handicap Parking Sign Requirements

Prior to the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, Americans with disabilities had a lot more issues when it came to finding accessible parking. The ADA was designed to ensure that all Americans with disabilities were given equal rights in all areas of their lives, including parking.

Accessibility is a vital component to leading a normal life for those with mobility issues or those who have disabilities that make it difficult to gain access to certain public spaces without assistance. ADA guidelines state that every public area has to have accessible parking for people with disabilities so that they can make their way to and from their destination, and also so they can get around, in and out of their vehicle with ease. To make disabled parking places clear and visible, there are many different rules and regulations in place for handicap parking sign requirements.

What makes a handicap spot official?

There are handicap parking spots available all around the country, and each spot has to meet certain criteria for it to be considered an official disabled parking space. For example, according to the ADA, the spot needs to be designated with a clearly marked sign and proper identification that includes the international symbol of accessibility (the wheelchair symbol that is widely recognizable to the majority of people). For a spot to be official, it has to be signposted clearly with this symbol.

disabled parking sign near building
Image by Bernardo Lorena Ponte on Unsplash: How high do handicap parking signs need to be?

Does a handicap parking spot need a sign?

There are a few rules that need to be followed for spots to adhere to handicap parking regulations. For example, as well as handicap parking spots being clearly identified by signs that have the international symbol of accessibility, van-accessible spots need to have the same sign plus the phrase “van-accessible” clearly outlined.

There are couple exceptions to this rule, though. Parking lots that are small and have four or fewer spaces are required by law to have accessible spaces, but those spaces can be used by anyone with or without a disability and do not need a sign. Residential areas such as apartment buildings that have assigned parking spots do not have to have signs at their accessible spaces, either. In both instances, accessible parking is still required, though the spots just don’t need to be marked with signage.

What are the main handicap parking sign requirements?

Aside from the rule that states that public places are required to have accessible parking spaces, no matter how big or small their lots are, there are some requirements that need to be met for a disabled parking sign to be legal. The first requirement involves the height of the sign. To ensure that people with and without disabilities can see disabled parking spaces clearly, the signs must be mounted a certain way so that the lower edge of the sign is at least five feet off the ground.

Visibility is important when it comes to accessible handicap parking, and having the signs sit high enough makes them easier to see. The signs must also be clearly viewable and unobstructed. As mentioned above, if the spot is designated for those with vans, that must also be clearly stated in either text or as a symbol so that who can use that spot is specifically outlined.

parking lot with cars
Image by John Matychuk on Unsplash: All parking lots, both big and small, are required by law to have accessible parking spots.

In summary, handicap parking signs must follow these five requirements:

  1. Be clear and visible by motorists
  2. The bottom of the sign must be at least five feet off the ground
  3. Have the international symbol of accessibility
  4. Cannot be obstructed by vehicles or any other objects
  5. Van-accessible signs must be clearly marked with text or a symbol

When it comes to accessibility, handicap parking spaces are crucial for helping people with disabilities get around to where they need to go with ease. Without clearly marked signs that have all the official markers, it would be more difficult for people to find the parking they need. That’s why strict handicap parking sign requirements are enforced by law.

Featured image by Nicolas Torres on Unsplash

How Do I Renew My Oregon Handicap Placard?

Each US state has its own set of laws and regulations when it comes to disabled parking. While the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) includes federal legislation designed to protect those with disabilities from discrimination, it doesn’t cover the state’s ability to make their own rules when it comes to disabled parking. What is classified as a disability varies from state to state, but only minimally, as many agree what type of health condition or ailment applies for access to a handicap parking placard.

In Oregon, the amount of options available to people who qualify for disabled parking permits is impressive, and gives disabled drivers in the state more options when it comes to disabled parking. Oregon offers a renewable parking permit, wheelchair permits, family permits, temporary permits, and a program permit. This makes it easy for people in the state or their caregivers to get a handicap placard in Oregon.

city of portland oregon
Image by peter bucks on Unsplash: Is it hard to renew a handicap placard in Oregon?

How do I get a handicap placard from the DMV in Oregon?

To get a handicap placard in the state of Oregon, you must first provide proof of your qualifying disability. The first step is getting your application. Then your primary care physician or doctor who sees you for your disability must fill out the portion of the form known as the Certificate of Disability. Once you have that, you can apply, either by going in person to your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or mailing your application to the DMV headquarters in Oregon.

You must have a valid Oregon driver’s license or a qualifying identification card to apply for the parking permit at the DMV, either by mail or in person. Once your application has been processed, you will receive a permit that has the same expiration date as either your I.D. card or your valid driver’s license. In all cases, you will have to go through a process that requires you to prove your identity as well as your disability to be approved for the handicap placard. There is no fee for applying for a disability parking permit in the state of Oregon.

How much does it cost to renew a handicap placard in Oregon?

In many ways, the process for renewal is similar to the process for getting your first handicap placard. Renewable parking placards are given the same expiration date as your driver’s license or I.D. card. This makes it easy to remember to renew, because you’ll do both at the same time. When renewing your parking permit, you’ll have to go in person to a DMV field office in your area and complete a renewal application. The renewal application also has a section that needs to be filled out by your primary care physician. They will include your disability information and sign it once again for you to submit to the DMV.

You will have to provide a proof of identity upon renewal, similar to when you first applied for your disabled parking placard. Proof of identity can be your license or I.D. card. You will also have to present your social security number as well as your address as proof of residence. There is no fee to have your disabled parking permit renewed in the state of Oregon.

view of oregon
Image by Sarah Ardin on Unsplash: What do you need to know about Oregon disabled placard renewal?

Does Oregon have handicap license plates?

Even with all the options for disabled parking permits available in the state, there is only one option for handicap license plates. The plates are referred to as disabled veteran plates, and for them to be valid, they have to be used with a placard. For a person to qualify, they must have a qualifying disability and have served in the military.

Overall, getting your Oregon disabled parking permit renewed is an easy and efficient process. By being able to apply for several different permits, as well as being given the option to mail in or go in person, people with qualifying disabilities in the state of Oregon can easily apply for and renew their handicap placard to give them access to the parking that they need.

Featured image by Robin Davidson on Unsplash

Is Handicap Parking Free In Florida?

Florida is a dream vacation destination for a lot of people. The beaches and beautiful scenery of the state are something enjoyed by both locals and those looking for a tropical escape from the everyday.

If you use disabled parking, you may be wondering about the rules surrounding handicap parking in Florida. For example, is handicap parking free in Florida? Can hotels charge for handicap parking? What are the rules for handicap parking in Florida?

Below are the answers to all those questions and more for those traveling around the Sunshine State with handicap parking placards or plates.

How To Get a Handicap Parking Placard in Florida

You can get an application for a disabled person parking permit through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Fill out the application and get it signed by your doctor, then take it with payment to the local tax collector’s office. You will also need a copy of your state identification card or driver’s license.

If you are traveling to Florida from another state, you can use your handicap parking permit in Florida. However, if you are visiting from another country, you may have to get a temporary disabled parking permit in Florida if you wish to have disabled parking privileges.

black and white disabled parking signage
Image by Possessed Photography on Unsplash: What are the rules for handicap parking in Florida? They’re not too complicated if you can scout your location ahead of time.

Types of Disabled Parking Permits in Florida

In Florida, the state grants disabled parking permits on both a temporary and a permanent basis. Temporary disabled parking permits are for short-term mobility issues and are good for up to six months. Temporary permits cost $15.

Permanent handicap parking permits are for long-term mobility issues or for those who are declared legally blind. These permits are valid for a term of four years and must be renewed by the holder’s birthday on the year it expires.

Is Handicap Parking Free in Florida?

One of the biggest questions people have about handicap parking in Florida is whether it is free or not. Those with disabled parking permits can park for free at on-street meters. In some places, the time you can park there is unlimited, but in others, the local ordinance may limit the time to four hours. The idea behind this rule is that those with disabilities or mobility issues may find it a challenge to constantly return to their vehicle and feed parking meters.

If you’re planning a trip and you’ve been wondering “Is handicap parking free in Miami?”, your best bet is to check with the city before attempting to park. It’s always best to do your research beforehand to find out specific parking rules, even if you generally expect to be able to park for free at metered parking spots.

Can Hotels Charge for Handicap Parking in Florida?

Another thing many people want to know is if hotels can charge for handicap parking in Florida. The simple truth is that Florida law only explicitly exempts those with disabilities from paying for on-street parking at meters. Other places, such as public garages, airports, convention centers, and hotels, are allowed to charge a person with a handicap parking permit for parking.

The only case in which free parking must be granted is if someone has a Florida Toll Exemption Permit or special equipment on their vehicle such as foot or hand controls, lifts, and ramps. Toll exemption permits are reserved for those with severe upper body mobility issues.

However, you should contact any hotel you plan to stay at before you arrive to find out if they do charge for parking for disabled guests. Policies can be different between properties.

Dr Handicap - disabled parking spots
Image by Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash: Do you have to pay for parking if you have a handicap placard in Florida? You might – it depends on what kind of parking you need.

Unauthorized Use of Handicap Parking Permits

In some places in Florida, parking spaces can be difficult to find. If someone you know, either a family member or a friend, approaches you about using your disabled parking permit and you let them when you’re not with them, then you risk some serious consequences.

Anyone caught unlawfully using a handicap parking permit in Florida can have the permit confiscated and be charged with a misdemeanor crime. You can lose your disabled parking privileges for up to four years. For this reason, never use your permit unless you are in the vehicle and it’s for your use.

If you have more questions about handicap parking in Florida, contact Dr. H for help!

Featured image by Lance Asper on Unsplash

6 Defensive Driving Techniques That All Disabled Drivers Should Know

Most drivers have heard the term defensive driving. But what exactly does it mean? And why is defensive driving for disabled drivers so important?

Defensive driving is a series of actions and behaviors that will help you stay safe behind the wheel. As a driver, you can only control your own actions, not those of other drivers, so defensive driving techniques help you stay safe on the road, even if another driver makes a mistake.

Done correctly, defensive driving will help you avoid accidents by spotting hazards in advance and avoiding dangerous situations. It’s particularly important for disabled drivers who might have special physical or mental considerations that make driving more challenging.

If you want to stay safe and prepared while on the road, here are a few defensive driving techniques that all disabled drivers should know.

1. Follow the three-second rule

The three-second rule is taught to new drivers as a way of preventing collisions. It states that you should keep at least three seconds of time between yourself and the car ahead of you, so if they brake suddenly, you’ll have time to react.

However, for disabled drivers who might have slower response times, consider following a five- or six-second rule. If you know it will take you longer to react to something on the road, it’s completely OK to keep a wider berth between yourself and other drivers.

Don’t worry about cars behind you – they can pass you if they choose to do so. You can also yield or pull over to let other drivers pass you if they’re driving aggressively.

2. Drive at times of the day that are safest for you

What are some defensive driving skills specific to disabled drivers? One of our top recommendations is to only drive at times of the day when you’re most focused and alert, as this will help you stay safe.

For example, if you know you feel tired at certain times of the day when you take your medication, plan your trips so you don’t need to be on the road during these times.

person using phone while behind wheel of vehicle
Image by melissa mjoen on Unsplash: Driving defensively means avoiding distractions – especially cell phones – and focusing all of your attention on the road.

3. Minimize distractions

So, what should every driver know about defensive driving? If it’s one thing, it’s this: minimize distractions! Distracted driving is the leading cause of crashes in the US, so never take your eyes off the road.

If you need to check your phone, make a call, or change the radio, always pull over somewhere safe to do so. Avoid eating while driving, too – if your disability means you need to eat frequently for your blood sugar, always do so when the car is parked.

Taking your eyes off the road for a split second is all it takes to cause a collision, so don’t take the risk.

4. Scan the road constantly

To drive defensively, you should always be scanning the road. Keep your eyes on what’s immediately ahead of you, but also what’s ahead on the horizon, so you’re completely aware of your surroundings. This way, it’s easier to make decisions and react to upcoming problems, such as a traffic jam.

Keep in mind that scanning the road and paying close attention can be mentally tiring, especially for those with a disability. On long drives, take plenty of rest breaks so you’re fresh, or share the driving with someone else.

5. Use your mirrors

When you get in the car, always double-check that your mirrors are positioned correctly. If someone else drove the car before you, you’ll probably need to adjust them to your height.

As you drive, check your mirrors regularly, especially before you make a turn or switch lanes – mirrors are one of your most important tools for staying safe.

person reading map to determine driving route
Image by ali elliott on Unsplash: You’ll be safer on the road if you always know where you’re going before you get in the car.

6. Plan your route in advance

For some drivers, especially those with learning disabilities, navigating to a new place can be confusing and overwhelming. Reading road signs while driving, looking for the right exit, and focusing on the road can be a lot to do at once, especially if you’re trying to navigate as well.

If you’re someone who struggles with unfamiliar environments, it’s smart to always plan your route in advance. Review your directions and use a GPS to help you navigate as you drive. This will help you stay calm and focused on your driving, without needing to stress about where you’re going. If you do get lost and feel panicked, pull over and take a few deep breaths – it can be unsafe to drive while you’re feeling frustrated or stressed.

If you’re looking for more safe driving tips, reach out to your local driving school to learn more. Wondering “Why would someone take a defensive driving course?” It can be a great way to refresh your skills, especially if you’re out of practice.

Defensive driving is one of the best ways for drivers with disabilities to protect themselves. However, disabled drivers also have an easier time once they’ve approved for handicapped permits, which makes parking much more convenient. If you’re not sure if you qualify for one, you can ask a doctor today – a quick and easy way to make life on the road easier and safer.

Featured image by Brauilo Corona on Unsplash