The University of New Mexico Parking and Transportation Services (PATS) department will begin its second year of its "Accessible Parking Initiative" designed to safeguard the availability of accessible - also known as handicapped - parking spaces for legitimate users.
Beginning Monday, Nov. 7 PATS parking enforcement officers will be focusing on enforcing the governing State of New Mexico and University regulations related to the appropriate use of these spaces during random accessible parking compliance events.
"We want to ensure that individuals who have been issued handicapped placards have equal access to the campus," said Robert Nelson, PATS' interim director. "We have more than twice as many handicapped parking spaces as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, mobility-impaired individuals experience difficulty finding accessible parking spaces."
PATS officers are concerned with illegal parking in handicapped spaces by users not displaying proper handicapped permits or those fraudulently using permits. During the random accessible parking compliance events, PATS parking enforcement officers will ensure handicapped permits are properly displayed, which includes visible display of the handicapped permit number and expiration date from the front of the vehicle. If the handicapped permit was issued recently, then the permit holder picture must also be clearly visible from the front of the vehicle. Enforcement officers will also be verifying ownership of handicapped placards.
"We are committed to our mission to provide access to the campus for all students, staff, faculty, and visitors," said Nelson.
In addition to handicapped spaces, UNM PATS policies also allow for handicapped permit holders to park in regular zoned parking spots, in designated spaces in the Cornell and Yale parking garages, and in hourly parking spaces when the permit is properly displayed.
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