Some Seemingly Able-Bodied People Park All Day Long Downtown On Handicapped Placards

Friday, September 27, 2013
Gray Accura with handicapped placard is frequent sight near the Courts Building downtown. It sometimes takes up two spots.
Gray Accura with handicapped placard is frequent sight near the Courts Building downtown. It sometimes takes up two spots.

Some able-bodied people get free parking downtown on a daily basis thanks to the use of a handicapped placard.

There's nothing that parking monitors can do about it - even if it seems obvious that a handicapped placard is being abused, officials said.

Kim White, president of the River City Company, said handicapped placard abuse ties up dozens of downtown parking spaces "every single day, all day long. Most of these are downtown workers."

One young, seemingly spry Courts Building worker parks her gray Acura on Cherry or Sixth Street for free while co-workers have to pay. It ties up a valuable spot near the high-traffic courts.

Brent Matthews, CARTA operations director, said he and his parking "ambassadors" see many handicapped placards displayed on cars downtown and often see the same cars on a daily basis. He said the card allows the operator to park at any regular meter as long or he or she wants.

He says his staff has no way of knowing whether the driver of a vehicle displaying the placard is handicapped or not and doesn't try to find out.

Mr. Matthews said his staff does check to see whether or not handicapped placards are expired. They have to be renewed every two years. The initial cost is $21.50 and the renewal cost is $3.

Approximately 164,000 handicapped placards are issued each year throughout the state of Tennessee.  In Hamilton County last year, there were 11,088 issued for permanent disability and another 893 for temporary disability.

County Clerk Bill Knowles said a person applying for a handicapped placard has to present a certification of the disability signed by a physician, physician's assistant or a nurse practitioner.

Debbie Rollins of his staff said, "You are not allowed to use it unless the disabled person who took out the placard is in the vehicle."




PHOTOS: Funeral Of Luther Masingill

For video by Ben Cagle click here , here and here . (click for more)

Barbara Sue Perdue Greer Charged With Coercion Of A Witness

Barbara Sue Perdue Greer has been arrested for coercion of a witness. Members of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Department’s Criminal Investigation Division filed the charge and took Ms. Greer, 40, of Cohulla Road, Southeast, into custody.  Reports indicate Ms. Greer is a defendant in a pending case, and her actions toward a witness in that case led to the charge.  ... (click for more)

Tom Dugan Was A Good Man

Tom was my boss for most of my 36 years at Carta.  At the ceremony where I was awarded my 30-year service award, Tom said, "Don disagrees with 85% of my decisions, but I wish I had 80 more employees just like him." This kind of indicates our relationship. When I asked him to help with my plans for a reunion for the group of Veterans that I served with in Vietnam, he quickly ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Veterinarian’s Horse Sense

I suspect you’ve heard by now that a doctor in New York City, who volunteers with “Doctors Without Borders,” just got back from the African nation of Guinea on October 17 – last Friday – and on Thursday tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus. Luckily, he came in actual contact with only a few people but he reportedly rode a subway, took a taxi, went on a three-mile run and ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Holds Off Mercer For Big SoCon Win

If you wanted to see a lot of offense in a college football game, then you should have been at Finley Stadium Saturday afternoon. Playing in front of an announced crowd of 10,763 on a spectacular fall day, the Chattanooga Mocs took advantage of an offensive explosion as they improved to 4-0 in the Southern Conference and 5-3 overall with a 38-31 victory over the Mercer Bears. ... (click for more)

CCS, Notre Dame Win State Soccer Sectionals, GPS Advances To State Semifinals

It was a District 7A/AA sweep on Saturday in girls state soccer sectionals.  Notre Dame hosted Boyd-Bucahan and won 1-0 and CCS traveled to Grace and won 2-1.  In Class AAA, East Hamilton hosted Oakland and lost 1-0. In the quarterfinals of the Division II state tournament, GPS hosted Hutchison and earned a 2-0 win.  CCS and Notre Dame will play in the state ... (click for more)