TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Fred H. Madden, Jr. and Senator Joseph F. Vitale that would require the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to grant parking privileges to homecare service employees was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee Monday.
The bill, S-2416, would require the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to issue a placard for vehicles used by homecare professionals who provide services in their patients’ private residences. The placards would allow licensed or certified nurses, nurse aides, homemaker-home health aides, personal care assistants and hospice care workers to park their vehicles in on-street areas that are generally reserved for municipal residents and in municipal, college and university parking lots.
“There are many who are ill or disabled that prefer to be treated at home,” said Senator Madden (D-Camden/Gloucester). “Home health care providers spend a fortune on parking stickers, parking tickets and towing costs. These inconveniences and expenses lead many workers to use ride services and taxis which adds an even greater cost burden. These companies and employees should not be forced to endure these fines and costs for providing care to their patients.”
“The last thing a homecare provider needs is to be distracted by their parking situation while they are tending to patients and clients who depend on their full attention. The hands-on service they offer can be extremely demanding – physically, mentally and emotionally – and they should be relieved of any peripheral concerns that are not related to the performance of their job,” said Senator Vitale (D-Middlesex). “When someone dedicates themselves to a career of service to others, New Jersey should step up to support them in every way we can. And our support will become increasingly important as our residents age in place and require more care at home.”
Under the bill, the MVC would be permitted to charge a one-time $50 registration fee to issue yearly, renewable placards to home care service agencies for distribution to their employees. In addition to overnight parking and overtime parking in metered spaces, the placards would also entitle employees to travel on roads that municipalities reserve for residents during high-volume traffic periods.
Advancing from the Transportation Committee with a 5-0 vote, the bill next heads to the full Senate for further consideration.