Oakland, CA, July 27, 2007 --(PR.com
)-- If you drive in any downtown metropolitan city in Northern California, you can't help but notice the immense amounts of handicapped placard cars that line the street. You think to yourself "there really can't be that many handicapped individuals in this city" but then realize that these blue placards are people's "golden ticket" for all day free parking; no questions asked. It is a truly unfortunate situation that not only affects the handicapped, but robs cities of much needed revenue for schools, parks and overall improvement. A local group in Oakland has seen enough of the illegal use of placards and has assembled a task force to take action against these abusers.
HandicappedFraud.org was built to raise awareness of the overwhelming illegal use of handicapped placards in California and throughout the nation. Its founder (who wishes to remain anonymous) began her fight against handicapped fraud after driving around her severely handicapped grandfather and brother for many years. It was one incident (amongst many) in particular that truly inspired her to give the handicapped a voice and to help raise awareness of the escalating abuse.
"I was driving my 90 year old grandfather to John Muir Hospital for an appointment one day," said the founder. "As I drove towards the last open handicapped space, a red corvette literally cut me off and swung in. Out popped a blond woman (about 30) and a boy (maybe 5 or 6). She looked around - stuck up the placard and darted into the doors. This is when I realize that something had to be done".
It's a current hot topic for many cities across the country, and there have been many small groups and task forces put into place. The Bay Area has become the hot bed for abuse with the illegal use of handicapped placards more prevalent than ever. Not only do the true handicapped individuals lose in this situation, but also the cities. Tens of millions of dollars are lost to our cities each year due to placard abuse; this is money that could go to schools, local shelters, parks and other community funded projects. It is estimated that California cities such as Oakland and San Francisco lose between 10-15 million dollars per year in metered parking due to the overwhelming misuse use of placards that obtain the user free parking for the day.
"The main goal of the site," states the founder, "is to not only create a public service, but allow everyday citizens to report this law breaking behavior and make a difference. I want the cities to recoup the millions of dollars they have lost as well as allow the handicapped community to have the rights they deserve. I currently send a list to the DMV each month in hopes that abusers will be ticketed, doctors will be questioned about handing out placards, handicapped people will have ample parking opportunities and cities will regain metered revenue".
The handicappedfraud.org site is a call to action for change in what is a visibly flawed system. The site will empower citizens and community leaders to patrol the streets in their area and give them a vehicle to report abuse and demand change. Already the site has received hundreds of posts uncovering the misuse of handicapped placards across the country. The founder expects the site to involve political leaders so that legal action and more severe laws will be instilled in communities throughout the nation. To learn more about the site and how you can join the cause, visit http://www.handicappedfraud.org and begin reporting abuse in your area.