LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Two newly proposed bills want to focus on handicapped parking spots in Arkansas.
State Representative Kim Hammer (R-Benton) represents House Bill 2069, which creates a hotline to help with illegal handicap parking. He said the hotline would be similar to the illegal dumping hotline.
“You'd have to give a description of the car, where the location was, and the license plate,” Hammer said.
Hammer feels there aren't enough police officers to enforce this problem. He also says there's more to it than just people parking illegally.
“Those who have the handicap plaque need to understand that that is for them, not for their family members to use,” he said.
There's also House Bill 1882 which hopes to address van accessible handicap parking enforcement and penalties.
Representative Andy Mayberry (R-Hensley) said the bill would help law enforcement be able to easily identify vehicles that are "inappropriately" using a van accessible handicap space. He said a problem arises when a handicapped person can't get in and out of their car in the right place. That puts them in danger because they have to block traffic or perhaps even be hit by oncoming traffic.
“This is important to make sure the people that need those spaces, have them available,” Mayberry said.
Tabitha Mayberry, Miss Wheelchair Arkansas, has been dealing with a handicap for eleven years.
“If they're parked too close to my vehicle then I won't be able to get back inside my vehicle,” she said of her own handicap parking woes.
She said when drivers that don't have a handicap take a handicap spot, it affects her whole day. She said she has had to wait up to 45 minutes for a spot to park.
These proposed bills are solutions she said would help the entire handicapped community.
“They don't understand what I have to go through every day in my life just getting in and out of my car, it's not as simple as opening up a door and walking out,” she said.
Both bills are currently working their way through the House committee on public transportation.
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