Say what you will about the DMV and its cliched sassy workers, long lines and exorbitant fees.
This bureaucratic organization put its gun belt on, metaphorically speaking, and answered your prayers. Yes, the DMV went after the most-hated scofflaws in California, the dreaded misusers and abusers of disabled parking placards. You know the type:
She's an older but hot Westside mom in tight Lululemon yoga pants who's late to her Bikram class but, lucky for her, has dad's disabled placard hanging from her Audi's rear-view. She pulls right up and parks on the blue curb as you circle the block 80 times hoping for an opening.
Don't dare to question her: She has a prescription for Vicodin because she suffered a little sciatic nerve pain after rock climbing in Taos one year.
This, of course, is total bullshit.
The department this week said it “busted” — yes, it used that word — 43 people in central L.A. and the San Gabriel Valley, 34 in the San Fernando Valley and Ventura, 19 in Orange County, 18 in the South Bay and Westside areas, and 14 in the Inland Empire.
A total of 241 citations were issued statewide as part of an operation that had DMV “investigative teams” fanning out in response to “increased complaints from the public,” the department states.
Suspects were given citations worth $250 to $3,500, depending on whether they were first-timers or repeat offenders, the DMV says.
It seems to us the biggest misuse of placards is by people who use blue hangars that actually belong to their no-longer-driving parents.
The department says that's illegal: You can't use someone else's placard, plain and simple.
Others get a doctor's note based on a thin excuse for an ailment. Those are a little harder for the state to fight, since the law protects doctor-patient confidentiality. But the DMV says it is against the law to “provide false information to obtain a placard.”
DMV chief deputy director Jean Shiomoto:
Fraudulent use of disabled placards is a disservice to legitimate placard owners who really need the parking privilege. The DMV will confiscate a placard of a legitimate owner if it's being used by others.
The DMV — our hero!
(Bet you thought you would never read that line in your lifetime).