No grace period on disabled parking

(AP)

December 29, 2009 4:14:24 PM PST
Gary Weller works in downtown Fayetteville. He was struck by a hit-and-run driver six years ago and now he can't walk. He says he struggles every day to find disabled parking near his office on Hay Street.

"I like being downtown. This is a great place to work, but parking is at a premium. And being in a wheelchair and using a van to get around is... you have a hard time finding places to park," he explained.

Weller uses a van with a motorized ramp. It has a disabled placard in the window, but he still got a parking ticket on December 11.

"My handicap placard had expired on the last day of November, which I had ordered a new plate to go on my van and I got the ticket," he said.

Weller said he thought there was a 15-day grace period to renew disabled placards. But according to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, that's not the case.

The placards are good for five years but there's no grace period. It's different if you get a disabled license plate. You do have a 15-day grace period if the license plate expires.

Weller says he's not made at the parking attendant who gave him the $10 ticket. In fact, the company that writes the tickets was going to tear it up, but he paid it anyway.

"They knew. They've seen my van down here. I work down here. I have a business down here, and it was just the principle of the thing," he said.

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