Arizona Bill Requires Van-Accessible Parking Spots For Wheelchair Users Only

By Bridget Dowd
Published: Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 5:05am
Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 8:31am

Arizona lawmakers are considering a new bill on parking for people with disabilities. The legislation could cause problems for those who have physical disabilities but don’t use wheelchairs.

House Bill 2408 requires van-accessible spaces for wheelchair users only. In addition, people with valid placards or special plates would need a symbol saying they require a wheelchair.

Republican Rep. Noel Campbell said the idea was brought to him by a Marine veteran who couldn’t get into a larger space because it was taken.

“The whole purpose of having the van accessibility is defeated because anybody that’s got a placard who is not disabled can get into that space and that’s legal now," Campbell said.

But some members of the disability community say it’s a much more complicated issue. Amina Kruck of Ability 360 opposes the bill. She said disabilities affect people in different ways, and accessible vehicles come in many forms.

"A lot of guys don’t wanna use a van, they want to use a pickup truck, and they have these lifts that transfer them in and out of the pickup truck. I think it would be expensive to enact it," Kruck said.

She said marking someone as a wheelchair user could cause safety issues as well. She said some women don’t want to mark that they’re in a wheelchair because they’re afraid of being targeted.

The House passed the bill this week. It’s now headed to the Senate.

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