08 November 2016
Parking in Reserved Spaces for Motorists with Disabilities
Nick Minecci, USAG Public Affairs

Each parking area on Fort Detrick has spaces set aside for personnel with handicapped/disabled parking permits. These spaces are designed to accommodate individuals with special needs, including easy access to ramps for wheelchairs.

Fort Detrick Regulation 190-5, Fort Detrick Traffic Code, states, “Drivers are prohibited from parking in a designated handicap parking spot unless the vehicle displays a valid current state- or Fort Detrick- issued handicap placard, permit or disabled driver license plate issued to a handicapped individual who is a passenger or driver of the vehicle in question [cited as Unauthorized Parking in Handicap Spot].”

According to Michelle Hewitt, Fort Detrick’s Exceptional Family Member Program manager, individuals who use a reserved spot without the proper authorization are causing distress for those with a real need.

“Please be considerate of those less fortunate than you in health, they must be able to have access to the services or businesses they need to use,” said Hewitt. “For someone with braces, a walker or wheelchair it’s difficult if they have to find a regular spot, which may not have curb cuts or enough space to get in and out of their vehicles. This is even more critical in the winter, when snow and ice can present some dangerous challenges for a person who already has difficulty walking.”

Individuals in Maryland requiring a handicapped/disabled placard may request an application for a “Maryland Parking Placards/License Plates for Individuals with a Disability” – form number VR-210 – by calling the Motor Vehicle Administration, visiting the local MVA full-service and express office (for placards only) location, or downloading it from the MVA web site, according to the MVA web site.

The MVA website outlines who is eligible for a special parking placard or registration plate. They are a person who:

• Has lung disease to such an extent that forced (respiratory) expiratory volume for one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter, or arterial oxygen tension (pO2) is less than 60 mm/hg on room air at rest.

• Has cardiovascular disease limitations classified in severity as Class III or Class IV according to the standards set by the American Heart Association.

• Is unable to walk 200 feet without stopping to rest.

• Is unable to walk without the use of, or assistance from, a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, or other assistance device.

• Requires a wheelchair for mobility.

• Has lost an arm, hand, foot, or leg.

• Has lost the use of an arm, hand, foot, or leg.

• Has a permanent disability that adversely impacts the ambulatory ability of the applicant and which is so severe that the person would endure a hardship or be subject to a risk or injury if the privileges accorded a person from whom a vehicle is specially registered were denied.

• Has a permanent impairment of both eyes so that: 1) The central vision acuity is 20/200 or less in the better eye, with corrective glasses, or 2) There is a field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees in the better eye.

• Temporary Placard (red) Disability is not permanent but would substantially impair the person’s mobility or limit or impair the person’s ability to walk for at least three weeks, and is so severe that the person would endure a hardship or be subject to risk of injury if the Temporary Placard were denied.

Maryland residents can go to: http://www.mva.maryland.gov/about-mva/disabilities/#apply for more information, and those residing in Virginia can go to: https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/drivers/#disability/renewal.asp.

Residents of Pennsylvania can contact the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for application criteria, and can also go to: http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Public/DVSPubsForms/FAQ/FAQ-PDP.pdf for information, and residents of West Virginia can go to: http://www.transportation.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx for information.
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