Trenton – In an effort to expand accessibility for those with disabilities and their caregivers, the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee today advanced legislation sponsored by Senators Patrick Diegnan and Nicholas Sacco, which would allow the primary caregiver of a person with physical and/or developmental disabilities to apply for and use handicapped parking.
The bill, S-139, would allow the New Jersey Vehicle Commission to issue a primary caregiver of a person with a disability, an identification card and corresponding windshield placard that entitle holders to parking privileges offered to a person with a disability.
“Currently, there are special parking placards for drivers with disabilities. However, that privilege does not extend to the caregivers of people with disabilities,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “Caregivers, who act as drivers for those who cannot drive themselves, should be able to park in the designated place. It also gives people with disabilities an easier time getting to their residence.”
“Many individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities are accompanied by a parent or caregiver on a day-to-day basis,” said Senator Sacco (D-Hudson/Bergen). “However, current law does not allow accessibility to caregivers, even as they accompany individuals with disabilities, which poses obvious obstacles. The objective of this legislation is to ensure that caregivers are afforded the ability to safely and effectively transport individuals with disabilities.”
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 7-0.