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HF 1160

as introduced - 86th Legislature (2009 - 2010) Posted on 02/09/2010 01:44am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 02/26/2009

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to traffic regulations; modifying parking privileges in van-accessible
disability parking places; amending Minnesota Statutes 2008, sections 168.021,
subdivisions 1, 2; 169.345; 169.346, subdivisions 1, 2, 3.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 168.021, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Disability plates; application.

(a) When a motor vehicle registered
under section 168.017, a motorcycle, a truck having a manufacturer's nominal rated
capacity of one ton and resembling a pickup truck, or a self-propelled recreational vehicle
is owned or primarily operated by a permanently physically disabled person or a custodial
parent or guardian of a permanently physically disabled minor, the owner may apply for
and secure from the commissioner (1) immediately, a temporary permit valid for 30 days
if the applicant is eligible for the disability plates issued under this section and (2) two
disability plates with attached emblems, one plate to be attached to the front, and one
to the rear of the motor vehicle.

(b) The commissioner shall not issue more than one set of plates to any owner of
a motor vehicle at the same time unless the state Council on Disability approves the
issuance of a second set of plates to a motor vehicle owner.

(c) When the owner first applies for the disability plates, the owner must submit a
medical statement in a format approved by the commissioner under section 169.345, or
proof of physical disability provided for in that section.

(d) No medical statement or proof of disability is required when an owner of a motor
vehicle applies for plates for one or more motor vehicles that are specially modified for
and used exclusively by permanently physically disabled persons.

(e) The owner of a motor vehicle may apply for and secure (i) immediately, a permit
valid for 30 days, if the applicant is eligible to receive the disability plates issued under
this section, and (ii) a set of disability plates for a motor vehicle if:

(1) the owner employs a permanently physically disabled person who would qualify
for disability plates under this section; and

(2) the owner furnishes the motor vehicle to the physically disabled person for the
exclusive use of that person in the course of employment.

new text begin (f) The commissioner shall issue disability plates with a van-accessible designation,
as defined in section 169.345, subdivision 2, to an applicant who:
new text end

new text begin (1) submits a medical statement under paragraph (c) that specifies that the disability
is of a nature that requires regular use of a wheelchair, or is applying for disability plates
under paragraph (d);
new text end

new text begin (2) owns a type of motor vehicle that is able to transport a wheelchair; and
new text end

new text begin (3) meets all other requirements under this section.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 168.021, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Plate design; furnished by commissioner.

new text begin(a) new text endThe commissioner shall
design and furnish two disability plates with attached emblems to an eligible owner.
The emblem must bear the internationally accepted wheelchair symbol, as designated in
section 326B.106, subdivision 9, approximately three inches square. The emblem must be
large enough to be visible plainly from a distance of 50 feet.new text begin The disability plate design
must include a version or method to specify a van-accessible designation, as defined in
section 169.345, subdivision 2.
new text end

new text begin (b)new text end An applicant eligible for disability plates shall pay the motor vehicle registration
fee authorized by sections 168.013 and 168.09.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 169.345, is amended to read:


169.345 PARKING PRIVILEGE FOR PHYSICALLY DISABLED.

Subdivision 1.

Scope of privilege.

(a) A motor vehicle that prominently displays
the certificate authorized by this section or that bears disability plates issued under section
168.021 may be parked by or solely for the benefit of a physically disabled person:

(1) in a designated parking space for disabled persons, as provided in section
169.346;

(2) in a metered parking space without obligation to pay the meter fee and without
time restrictions unless time restrictions are separately posted on official signs; and

(3) without time restrictions in a nonmetered space where parking is otherwise
allowed for passenger vehicles but restricted to a maximum period of time and that does
not specifically prohibit the exercise of disabled parking privileges in that space.

A person may park a motor vehicle for a physically disabled person in a parking space
described in clause (1) or (2) only when actually transporting the physically disabled
person for the sole benefit of that person and when the parking space is within a reasonable
distance from the drop-off point.

(b) For purposes of this subdivision, a certificate is prominently displayed if it is
displayed so that it may be viewed from the front and rear of the motor vehicle by hanging
it from the rearview mirror attached to the front windshield of the motor vehicle. If there is
no rearview mirror or if the certificate holder's disability precludes placing the certificate
on the mirror, the certificate must be displayed on the dashboard on the driver's side of
the vehicle. No part of the certificate may be obscured.

(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), clauses (1), (2), and (3), this section does not
permit parking in areas prohibited by sections 169.32 and 169.34, in designated no
parking spaces, or in parking spaces reserved for specified purposes or vehicles. A local
governmental unit may, by ordinance, prohibit parking on any street or highway to create
a fire lane, or to accommodate heavy traffic during morning and afternoon rush hours and
these ordinances also apply to physically disabled persons.

Subd. 2.

Definitions.

(a) For the purpose of section 168.021 and this section, the
following terms have the meanings given them in this subdivision.

(b) "Health professional" means a licensed physician, registered physician assistant,
advanced practice registered nurse, or licensed chiropractor.

(c) "Long-term certificate" means a certificate issued for a period greater than 12
months but not greater than 71 months.

(d) "Organization certificate" means a certificate issued to an entity other than a
natural person for a period of three years.

(e) "Permit" refers to a permit that is issued for a period of 30 days, in lieu of the
certificate referred to in subdivision 3, while the application is being processed.

(f) "Physically disabled person" means a person who:

(1) because of disability cannot walk without significant risk of falling;

(2) because of disability cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest;

(3) because of disability cannot walk without the aid of another person, a walker, a
cane, crutches, braces, a prosthetic device, or a wheelchair;

(4) is restricted by a respiratory disease to such an extent that the person's forced
(respiratory) expiratory volume for one second, when measured by spirometry, is less
than one liter;

(5) has an arterial oxygen tension (PAO2) of less than 60 mm/Hg on room air at rest;

(6) uses portable oxygen;

(7) has a cardiac condition to the extent that the person's functional limitations are
classified in severity as class III or class IV according to standards set by the American
Heart Association;

(8) has lost an arm or a leg and does not have or cannot use an artificial limb; or

(9) has a disability that would be aggravated by walking 200 feet under normal
environmental conditions to an extent that would be life threatening.

(g) "Short-term certificate" means a certificate issued for a period greater than six
months but not greater than 12 months.

(h) "Six-year certificate" means a certificate issued for a period of six years.

(i) "Temporary certificate" means a certificate issued for a period not greater than
six months.

new text begin (j) "Van-accessible designation" means an authorization for parking in a
van-accessible disability parking space included with a permit, temporary certificate,
short-term certificate, six-year certificate, organization certificate, or disability plate.
new text end

Subd. 2a.

Health professional's medical statement.

(a) The commissioner shall
develop a format for the medical statement. The medical statement must be signed by
a health professional who certifies that the applicant is a physically disabled person as
defined in subdivision 2. The commissioner may request additional information from the
health professional if needed to verify the applicant's eligibility. The medical statement
that the applicant is a physically disabled person must specifynew text begin (1)new text end whether the disability
is permanent or temporary and, if temporary, the opinion of the health professional as to
the duration of the disabilitynew text begin, and (2) whether the disability is of a nature that requires
regular use of a wheelchair
new text end.

new text begin (b)new text end A health professional who fraudulently certifies to the commissioner that a
person is a physically disabled person as defined in subdivision 2, and that the person
is entitled to the disability plates authorized by section 168.021 or to the certificate
authorized by this section, is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to a fine of $500.

deleted text begin (b)deleted text endnew text begin (c)new text end The commissioner may waive the requirement of providing a statement of a
health professional if the applicant has previously filed with the commissioner a statement
of a health professional certifying that the applicant has a permanent physical disability.

Subd. 3.

Identifying certificate.

(a) The commissioner shall issue (1) immediately,
a permit valid for 30 days if the person is eligible for the certificate issued under this
section and (2) an identifying certificate for a motor vehicle when a physically disabled
applicant submits proof of physical disability under subdivision 2a. deleted text beginThe commissioner
shall design separate certificates for persons with permanent and temporary disabilities
that can be readily distinguished from each other from outside a motor vehicle at a
distance of 25 feet.
deleted text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner shall issue a permit or certificate with a van-accessible
designation to an applicant who (1) submits proof of physical disability under subdivision
2a that specifies that the disability is of a nature that requires regular use of a wheelchair,
and (2) owns a type of motor vehicle that is able to transport a wheelchair.
new text end

new text begin (c)new text end An applicant may be issued up to two certificates if the applicant has not been
issued disability plates under section 168.021.

deleted text begin (b)deleted text endnew text begin (d)new text end The operator of a motor vehicle displaying a certificate has the parking
privileges provided in subdivision 1 only while the motor vehicle is actually parked while
transporting a physically disabled person.

deleted text begin (c)deleted text endnew text begin (e)new text end The commissioner shall cancel all certificates issued to an applicant who fails
to comply with the requirements of this subdivision.

Subd. 3a.

Organization certificates.

(a) An organization providing transportation
to one or more physically disabled persons may apply to the commissioner for one or
more organization certificates for motor vehicles owned or operated on behalf of the
organization.

(b) The organization shall submit a written statement of intent to the commissioner
signed by an officer of the organization. The statement must:

(1) indicate the number of certificates requestednew text begin, including the number of certificates
with a van-accessible designation
new text end;

(2) state that all issued certificates must be used solely for the benefit of physically
disabled persons;

(3) state that the organization shall report lost or stolen certificates to the
commissioner within 24 hours of first discovery; and

(4) state that the organization shall immediately notify the commissioner of any
misuse or suspected misuse of any certificate issued to the organization.

(c) An organization shall include with the application a description of the internal
controls to be used to ensure the proper use of certificates and to account for all issued
certificates. The controls must include:

(1) maintenance of a current list of the make, model, and plate number of all motor
vehicles in which a certificate issued to the organization will be used; and

(2) maintenance of a current list of the name and driver's license number of all
individuals authorized to operate the motor vehicle in which certificates issued to the
organization will be used.

(d) When the commissioner is satisfied that an organization will use a certificate to
transport physically disabled persons, the commissioner shall issue without charge (1)
immediately, a permit valid for 30 days if the organization is eligible for a certificate and
(2) an organization certificate for the motor vehicle.

(e) The certificate issued to an organization transporting physically disabled persons
must be renewed every third year. On original application and renewal, the organization
must present evidence that each certificate issued continues to be used exclusively to
transport physically disabled persons.

(f) The commissioner shall cancel all certificates issued to an applicant who fails to
comply with the requirements of this subdivision.

Subd. 3b.

Certificate design, format, information.

new text begin(a) new text endA certificate must be made
of plastic or similar durable material and must bear its expiration date prominently on
both sides. A certificate issued to a temporarily disabled person must display the date of
expiration of the duration of the disability, as determined under subdivision 3 or 3a.new text begin For
persons with permanent and temporary disabilities, the commissioner shall design separate
certificates that can be readily distinguished from each other from outside a motor vehicle
at a distance of 25 feet. The commissioner shall design a van-accessible designation for
inclusion with a permit or certificate. The designation must be readily distinguishable
from the permit or certificate from outside a motor vehicle at a distance of 25 feet.
new text end

new text begin (b)new text end Each applicant must be provided a summary of the parking privileges and
restrictions that apply to each motor vehicle for which the certificate is used.

Subd. 3c.

Fees; organization, temporary, and short-term certificates.

The
commissioner may charge a fee of $5 for issuance of each organization certificate, each
temporary certificate, and each short-term certificate and a fee of $5 for a duplicate to
replace a lost, stolen, or damaged organization, temporary, or short-term certificate. The
commissioner shall not issue more than three duplicate certificates for lost, stolen, or
canceled certificates within any six-year period without the approval of the Minnesota
State Council on Disability.

Subd. 4.

Unauthorized use or noncompliance; cancellation; misdemeanor.

(a) If
a peace officer, authorized parking enforcement employee or agent of a statutory or home
rule charter city or town, representative of the Minnesota State Council on Disability, or an
authorized agent of a citizen enforcement program under section 169.346, subdivision 4,
finds that a certificate, permit, or disability plate is being improperly used, or the applicant
is no longer eligible, the officer, municipal employee, representative, or agent shall
report the violation or situation to the commissioner. The commissioner may cancel the
certificate, permit, or disability plates issued under section 168.021 on determining that:

(1) the certificate, permit, or plates were used improperly;

(2) the certificate, permit, or plates were fraudulently obtained;

(3) the certificate, permit, or plates were issued in error;

(4) the person who was issued the certificate, permit, or plates is deceased;

(5) the person who was issued the certificate, permit, or plates no longer maintains
a Minnesota address; or

(6) the person or organization has failed to comply with the requirements of this
section.

(b) A person who uses a certificate, permit, or disability plates in violation of this
section is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to a fine of $500.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 169.346, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Disability parking space prohibitions.

new text begin(a) new text endA person shall not:

(1) park a motor vehicle in or obstruct access to a parking space or associated access
aisle designated and reserved for the physically disabled, on either private or public
propertynew text begin, unless authorized for disability parkingnew text end;

(2) park a motor vehicle in or obstruct access to an area designated by a local
governmental unit as a transfer zone for disabled personsnew text begin, unless authorized for disability
parking
new text end;

(3) alter a certificate;

(4) exercise the parking privilege provided in section 169.345,new text begin subdivision 1,
paragraph (a), clauses (2) and (3),
new text end unlessdeleted text begin:deleted text endnew text begin authorized for disability parking;
new text end

deleted text begin (i) that person is a physically disabled person as defined in section 169.345,
subdivision 2
, or the person is transporting or parking a motor vehicle for a physically
disabled person; and
deleted text end

deleted text begin (ii) the motor vehicle visibly displays one of the following: a disability plate issued
under section 168.021, a certificate issued under section 169.345, a permit valid for 30
days issued under section 168.021 or 169.345, or an equivalent certificate, insignia, or
plate issued by another state, a foreign country, or one of its political subdivisions; or
deleted text end

(5) new text beginpark a motor vehicle in or obstruct access to a parking space or associated access
aisle designated and reserved for the physically disabled and posted as a van-accessible
parking space, unless authorized for disability parking and the certificate, disability plate,
or permit includes a van-accessible designation, as defined in section 169.345, subdivision
2; or
new text end

new text begin (6) new text endpark a motor vehicle in an area used as a regular route transit stopping point
where a transit vehicle that is accessible to the physically disabled regularly stops and a
sign that bears the international symbol of access in white on blue is posted. A sign posted
under this clause may display other information relating to the regular route transit service.
For purposes of this clause, an area used as a regular route transit stopping point consists
of the 80 feet immediately preceding the sign described in this clause.

new text begin (b) For purposes of this subdivision, "authorized for disability parking" means:
new text end

new text begin (1) the operator of a motor vehicle is a physically disabled person as defined in
section 169.345, subdivision 2, or the operator is transporting or parking a motor vehicle
for a physically disabled person; and
new text end

new text begin (2) the motor vehicle visibly displays:
new text end

new text begin (i) a disability plate issued under section 168.021;
new text end

new text begin (ii) a certificate issued under section 169.345;
new text end

new text begin (iii) a permit valid for 30 days issued under section 168.021 or 169.345; or
new text end

new text begin (iv) an equivalent certificate, insignia, or plate issued by another state, a foreign
country, or one of its political subdivisions.
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 169.346, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Disability parking space signs.

(a) Parking spaces reserved for
physically disabled persons must be designated and identified by the posting of signsnew text begin (1)new text end
incorporating the international symbol of access in white on bluenew text begin; (2) for van-accessible
parking spaces, a design or text clearly indicating that the space is reserved for vehicles
with a certificate, disability plate, or permit with a van-accessible designation, as defined
in section 169.345, subdivision 2;
new text end andnew text begin (3)new text end indicating that violators are subject to a fine of
up to $200. These parking spaces are reserved for disabled persons with motor vehicles
displaying the required certificate, plates, permit valid for 30 days, or insignia.

(b) For purposes of this subdivision, a parking space that is clearly identified as
reserved for physically disabled persons by a permanently posted sign that does not
meet all design standards, is considered designated and reserved for physically disabled
persons. A sign posted for the purpose of this section must be visible from inside a motor
vehicle parked in the space, be kept clear of snow or other obstructions which block its
visibility, and be nonmovable or only movable by authorized persons.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 169.346, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Misdemeanor; enforcement.

new text begin(a) new text endA person who violates subdivision 1 is
guilty of a misdemeanor and must be fined not less than $100 and not more than $200new text begin,
except that a person who is authorized for disability parking, as defined in subdivision
1, paragraph (b), who violates subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (5), is guilty of a
petty misdemeanor and must be fined not less than $50 and not more than $100
new text end. This
subdivision must be enforced in the same manner as parking ordinances or regulations in
the governmental subdivision in which the violation occurs. Law enforcement officers
may tag motor vehicles parked on either private or public property in violation of
subdivision 1. Parking enforcement employees or agents of statutory or home rule charter
cities or towns may tag or otherwise issue citations for motor vehicles parked on public
property in violation of subdivision 1.

new text begin (b)new text end If a holder of a disability certificate or disability plates allows a person who is not
otherwise eligible to use the certificate or plates, then the holder is not eligible to be issued
or to use a disability certificate or plates for 12 months after the date of violation.

new text begin (c)new text end A physically disabled person, or a person parking a motor vehicle for a disabled
person, who is charged with violating subdivision 1 because the person parked in a parking
space for physically disabled persons without the required certificate, deleted text beginlicensedeleted text endnew text begin disabilitynew text end
plates, or permit must not be convicted if the person produces in court or before the court
appearance the required certificate, permit, or evidence that the person has been issued
plates under section 168.021, and demonstrates entitlement to the certificate, plates, or
permit at the time of arrest or tagging.new text begin This paragraph does not apply if the motor vehicle
was parked in a parking space or associated access aisle posted as van-accessible, unless
the certificate, disability plate, or permit included a van-accessible designation, as defined
in section 169.345, subdivision 2.
new text end