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  1. #1
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    Default Should I Fight Handicap Parking Ticket Over Incorrect Signage

    My question involves a traffic citation from the state of: Texas

    I recently received a ticket for parking in handicap spot on the street outside of my apartment. I had moved here 2 days prior and when I parked here, I had not yet seen the half scratched off paint on the road, which was also partially covered by the back end of a large Suburban. There were white diagonal lines between the space and the pavement, but no sign suspended the 60" as required by Texas Law. The curb was painted white and all that it said was "Parallel Parking". Thus, beside the old paint on the street, there were no other designations to mark this as a handicap spot.

    I met with a prosecutor and he said there was nothing he could do because he was not familiar with the area. Now I can go to court and risk losing the trial which will cost a minimum of $500 and go on my record. Or I can pay $250 to get it dismissed since I am a first time offender. I am 23 and in my 7 years of driving, have never received any other violation.

    Should I just pay the $250 or take a risk and go to trial? What are my chances?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Incorrect Signage-Should I Fight Handicap Parking Ticket

    If you are prepared and substantiate the required signage is not in place to make it a handicapped parking spot, you can win the case.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Should I Fight Handicap Parking Ticket Over Incorrect Signage

    You should have taken pictures with you to the prosecutor's office. Try taking some pictures and see if you can get the prosecutor to review them.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Should I Fight Handicap Parking Ticket Over Incorrect Signage

    I did take pictures to the prosecutor. He told me that he was unfamiliar with the area and therefore I would have to go to trial so the officer who wrote the ticket could verify the location. I had even taken pictures with the street signs and the area I am talking about in the same photo but he said he couldn't do anything. Then I asked him if my pictures would be sufficient or if I should try to fight it in court and he said he was unable to give me any advice.

    Here are some of the pictures. When I parked, the Suburban was covering half of the handicap sign painted on the street. My car was parked in front of where the Suburban is in the picture. As you can see, the paint is scratched off and there is no sign. The writing on the white curb reads "Parallel Parking".






  5. #5
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    Default Re: Should I Fight Handicap Parking Ticket Over Incorrect Signage

    Was the vehicle parked partially over the marking displaying a handicapped hang tag or plates, or were they ticketed as well? You were sqeezed between a Suburban and a vehicle parked lawfully past the end of the hash marks?

    The present standards for handicapped parking are set forth by the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation here. Section 4.1 discusses when the regulations apply, and the detailed requirements are in Sec. 4.6. Note that, unless the hearing officer isn't paying attention, you will need to establish that the sign requirement of Sec. 4.6 is applicable to that space in order to prevail on the absence of a sign.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Should I Fight Handicap Parking Ticket Over Incorrect Signage

    When I was parked there, the white car wasn't present. There was space enough for me to park in front of the Suburban and behind another car which was parked legally. The Suburban, which was parked partially over the painted sign, does have a handicapped placard. The paint demarcating the end of the handicap spot is essentially completely rubbed off and can only be seen if you are really looking for it. I wish I had a picture to show that. Are the diagonal lines enough to designate this as a handicapped spot? I didn't understand the last bit of your last reply. Wouldn't 4.6 apply to all handicapped spots? This was on a public street in front of an apartment complex. It is my understanding that there must be a vertically mounted sign at least 5 ft off of the ground.
    Thank you, I appreciate your help.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Should I Fight Handicap Parking Ticket Over Incorrect Signage

    Sec. 4.6.s provides, "Parking spaces required to be accessible by 4.1 shall comply with 4.6.2 through 4.6.5. Passenger loading zones required to be accessible by 4.1 shall comply with 4.6.5 and 4.6.6." If you can find a provision that extends those regulations to spaces other than those described in Sec. 4.1, you may of course rely on that provision. Otherwise you should anticipate that you will have to establish that the space falls under Sec. 4.1.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Should I Fight Handicap Parking Ticket Over Incorrect Signage

    As you said, "Parking spaces required to be accessible by 4.1 shall comply with 4.6.2 through 4.6.5" .

    4.6.4* Signage. Each accessible parking space shall be designated as reserved by a vertically mounted or suspended sign showing the symbol of accessibility (see 4.30.7). Spaces complying with 4.1.2(5)(b) shall have an additional sign "Van-Accessible" mounted below the symbol of accessibility.


    However, if this is a Passenger Loading Zone and is not required to comply with 4.6.4, is this a real parking space? Or is it just a Passenger Loading Zone? The curb states "Parallel Parking", therefore it is deemed a parking space, but if it is a Passenger Loading Zone, then how could you be allowed to park there?

    In your opinion, should I fight this in court or just pay the $250? Would there be a different, lesser fine for parking in a Disabled Passenger Loading Zone? If it is that I parked in a Disabled Passenger Loading Zone, could I get the fine dismissed under the pretense that I was charged with the wrong offense?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Should I Fight Handicap Parking Ticket Over Incorrect Signage

    Please bear in mind when reading this that I'm neither an Attorney, nor do I live in Tx and fully know/understand their laws. With that said, I have read this thread in it's entirety and looked at your photos and it seems to me like you should have a case to at the very least get a reduced fine, if not get it eliminated. First of all, as you pointed out, it's in the statutes that there must be a hanging sign. Second, you said, the paint on the curb is chipped and faded, but when you look closely, it said, "Parallel Parking" which doesn't even closely designate it as a disabled parking spot. Then, there's the issue of the third party's SUV that was covering the majority of the disabled parking signage painted on the ground, and again, it was very faded when you DID see it.

    In my opinion, with no signage on a pole, chipped/faded curb paint, with "Parallel Parking" imprinted on it, and the SUV covering the majority of the D.P. signage on the ground that was also faded/chipped, there's almost no way you could have been reasonably expected to know that as a D.P. spot. I'd fight this if I were you. In court, when prosecutors are trying to prove criminal cases, they have to convince the jurors "beyond a reasonable doubt." I would hope (again, I'm no Attorney) there would be similar requirements for traffic court when fighting it, that the police and DA's office have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knew you were breaking the law when you parked there w/o proper tags on your vehicle. Its up to you if you fight it, but like I said, I would.

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