Dirty dozen dinged for handicap hijinks
Twelve able-bodied motorists were ticketed in Howard County this week for using handicapped-parking tags issued to relative to grab prime parking spaces to which they were not entitled.
The state Motor Vehicle Administration and the Howard County police teamed up on a sting operation aimed at putting some bite into the usually toothless laws restricting the use of handicapped tags to people with actual disabilities.
On Wednesday, MVA investigators approached 42 motorists at several county locations who had parked in handicapped-only spaces and asked them to display their disability identification cards. In 12 of those cases, according to the MTA, the drivers turned out to be family members of people who had been issued disability placards.
Police then issued the "dirty dozen" parking tickets that carry a fine $130. The citations were given out in downtown Ellicott Ciity, at Wal-Marts in Columbia and Ellicott City, at the Wilde Lake Village Center and at the Mall in Columbia.
The police department said it looks forward to teaming up with the MVA for future enforcement actions to fight illegal use of handicap parking spaces. For their efforts, the two agencies will be honored next month by the Howard County Commission on Disability Issues.
EDITORIAL COMMENT FROM BLOGMEISTER: Way to go, MVA chief John Kuo and Chief William McMahon. One can only hope police agencies in other jurisdictions follow your lead.