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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1987 

                        CHAPTER 355-S.F.No. 451 
           An act relating to public safety; parking for 
          handicapped persons; imposing a fine for violations of 
          handicapped parking provisions; providing penalties; 
          amending Minnesota Statutes 1986, sections 168.021, 
          subdivisions 1, 1a, 2, 3, 5, and 6; 169.345; and 
          169.346; repealing Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 
          168.021, subdivision 7. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 168.021, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read:  
    Subdivision 1.  [SPECIAL PLATES; APPLICATION FOR ISSUANCE.] 
When a motor vehicle registered under section 168.017, or a 
self-propelled recreational vehicle, is owned or primarily 
operated by a permanently physically handicapped person, the 
owner may apply for and secure from the registrar of motor 
vehicles two license number plates with attached emblems, one 
plate to be attached to the front, and one to the rear of the 
vehicle.  Application for issuance of these the plates must be 
made at the time of renewal or first application for 
registration.  When the owner first applies for the plates, the 
owner must submit a physician's statement on a form developed by 
the commissioner under section 169.345. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 168.021, 
subdivision 1a, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 1a.  [SCOPE OF PRIVILEGE.] If any a physically 
handicapped person parks a vehicle displaying license plates 
described in this section or any person parks such a the vehicle 
while transporting for a physically handicapped person, that 
person shall be entitled to courtesy in the parking of park the 
vehicle and be relieved of any liability with respect to parking 
except as provided in sections 169.32 and 169.34; provided that 
any municipal governing body may, by ordinance, prohibit parking 
on any street or highway for the purpose of creating a fire 
lane, or to provide for the accommodation of heavy traffic 
during morning and afternoon rush hours and the privileges 
extended to handicapped persons shall not apply on streets or 
highways where and at the time parking is prohibited.  The 
license plates specified in this section shall also serve to 
identify vehicles properly parked in designated handicapped 
parking spaces, as provided in section 169.346 as provided in 
section 169.345.  
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 168.021, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [DESIGN OF PLATES; FURNISHING BY REGISTRAR.] The 
registrar of motor vehicles shall design and furnish two license 
number plates with attached emblems to each such eligible owner. 
The emblem shall must bear the internationally accepted 
wheelchair symbol, as designated in section 16.8632, 
approximately three inches square.  The emblem shall must be of 
such size as large enough to be visible plainly from a distance 
of 50 feet.  Applicants An applicant eligible for these the 
special plates shall pay the motor vehicle registration fee 
authorized by law less a credit of $1 for each month registered. 
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 168.021, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [PENALTIES FOR UNAUTHORIZED USE OF PLATE PLATES.] 
A person who appropriates or uses the plate plates provided in 
under this section upon on a motor vehicle other than as 
authorized by in violation of this section is guilty of a gross 
misdemeanor, and is subject to a fine of $500.  This subdivision 
does not preclude a person who is not physically handicapped 
from operating a vehicle upon which these bearing the plates are 
displayed where if the person is the owner of the vehicle and 
permits its operation by a physically handicapped person, or 
where if the person operates the vehicle with the consent of the 
owner who is physically handicapped.  A nonhandicapped driver 
who is not handicapped is not entitled to the parking privileges 
provided in this section and in section 169.346 
unless transporting parking the vehicle for a physically 
handicapped person.  
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 168.021, 
subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 5.  [DEFINITIONS.] For the purposes of this section, 
a the term "physically handicapped person" means a person who 
has sustained an amputation or material disability of either or 
both arms or legs, or who has been otherwise disabled in any 
manner, rendering it difficult and burdensome for the person to 
walk has the meaning given it in section 169.345.  
    Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 168.021, 
subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 6.  [DRIVERS DRIVER'S LICENSE LAW NOT AFFECTED.] 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to revoke, limit, or 
amend any of the terms of the drivers license law chapter 171. 
    Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 169.345, is 
amended to read:  
    169.345 [PARKING PRIVILEGES FOR PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [SCOPE OF PRIVILEGE.] Any physically 
handicapped person who displays prominently upon the vehicle 
parked by or under the direction and for the use of the 
handicapped person, A vehicle that prominently displays the 
distinguishing certificate specified in authorized by this 
section shall be entitled to courtesy in the parking of the 
vehicle and be relieved of any liability with respect to parking 
except as provided in sections 169.32 and 169.34; provided that 
any municipal governing body, or bears license plates issued 
under section 168.021, may be parked by or for a physically 
handicapped person: 
    (1) in a designated handicapped parking space, as provided 
in section 169.346; and 
    (2) in a metered parking space without obligation to pay 
the meter fee.  
    For purposes of this subdivision, a certificate is 
prominently displayed if it is displayed on the dashboard in the 
left-hand corner of the front windshield of the vehicle with no 
part of the certificate obscured. 
    Notwithstanding clauses (1) and (2), 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 for the purpose of creating to create a fire 
lane, or to provide for the accommodation of accommodate heavy 
traffic during morning and afternoon rush hours and the 
privileges extended to such handicapped persons shall not these 
ordinances also apply on streets or highways where and at such 
time parking is prohibited.  The certificate specified in this 
section shall also serve to identify vehicles properly parked in 
designated handicapped parking spaces as provided in section 
169.346 to physically handicapped persons.  
    Subd. 2.  [DEFINITIONS.] For the purpose of this section " 
physically handicapped person" means any a person who has 
sustained an amputation or material disability of either or both 
arms or legs, or who has been otherwise disabled in any manner 
rendering it difficult and burdensome to walk: 
    (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 
meter; 
    (5) has an arterial oxygen tension (P A O 2 ) of less than 60 
mm/hg on room air at rest; 
    (6) uses portable oxygen; or 
    (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.  
    Subd. 2a.  [PHYSICIAN'S STATEMENT.] The commissioner shall 
develop a form for the physician's statement.  The statement 
must be signed by a licensed physician who certifies that the 
applicant is a physically handicapped person as defined in 
subdivision 2.  The commissioner may request additional 
information from the physician if needed to verify the 
applicant's eligibility.  The physician's statement must specify 
whether the disability is permanent or temporary, and if 
temporary, the opinion of the physician as to the duration of 
the disability.  A physician who fraudulently certifies to the 
commissioner that a person is a physically handicapped person as 
defined in subdivision 2, and that the person is entitled to the 
license 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. 
    Subd. 3.  [IDENTIFYING CERTIFICATE.] (a) The division of 
driver and vehicle services in the department of public safety 
shall issue without charge a special identifying certificate for 
a marked motor vehicle to any when a physically handicapped 
applicant upon submission by the applicant of a certificate by a 
qualified physician to the division that the applicant is a 
physically handicapped person within the meaning of subdivision 
2 submits a physician's statement.  The commissioner shall 
design separate certificates for persons with permanent and 
temporary disabilities that can be readily distinguished from 
each other from outside a vehicle at a distance of 25 feet.  The 
certificate is valid for the duration of the person's 
disability, as specified in the physician's statement, up to a 
maximum of six years.  A person with a disability of longer 
duration will be required to renew the certificate for 
additional periods of time, up to six years each, as specified 
in the physician's statement. 
    (b) Upon submission of satisfactory evidence When the 
commissioner is satisfied that a motor vehicle is used primarily 
for the purpose of transporting physically handicapped 
persons within the meaning of subdivision 2, the division may 
issue without charge a special identifying certificate or 
insignia for the vehicle.  The operator of the a vehicle, when 
displaying the certificate or insignia, has the same parking 
privileges provided in subdivision 1 for the physically 
handicapped during the period while the vehicle is in use for 
transporting physically handicapped persons.  The certificate 
issued to a person transporting physically handicapped persons 
must be renewed every third year.  On application and renewal, 
the person must present evidence that the vehicle continues to 
be used for transporting physically handicapped persons. 
    The commissioner of public safety shall determine the form, 
size and promulgate rules governing their issuance and use 
necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.  The 
physician's certificate shall specify whether the disability is 
permanent or temporary, and if temporary, the opinion of the 
physician as to the duration of the disability.  The 
commissioner may issue special identifying certificates to 
temporarily physically handicapped persons for limited periods 
of time. 
    (c) A certificate must be made of plastic or similar 
durable material, must be distinct from certificates issued 
before January 1, 1988, and must bear its expiration date 
prominently on its face.  A certificate issued to a temporarily 
disabled person must display the date of expiration of the 
duration of the disability, as determined under paragraph (a).  
Each certificate must have printed on the back a summary of the 
parking privileges and restrictions that apply to each vehicle 
in which it is used.  The commissioner may charge a fee of $5 
for issuance or renewal of a certificate, and a fee of $5 for a 
duplicate to replace a lost, stolen, or damaged certificate.  
    Subd. 4.  [UNAUTHORIZED USE; REVOCATION,; PENALTY.] If the 
police of the state or any city, or other local government shall 
find a peace officer finds that the certificate is being 
improperly used, they the officer shall report the violation to 
the division of driver and vehicle services in the department of 
public safety any violation and the commissioner of public 
safety may remove revoke the privilege certificate.  A person 
who uses the certificate in violation of this section is guilty 
of a misdemeanor and is subject to a fine of $500. 
    Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 169.346, is 
amended to read:  
    169.346 [PARKING FOR PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED; PROHIBITIONS; 
PENALTIES.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [PARKING CRITERIA.] No A person shall not: 
    (1) park a motor vehicle in or obstruct access to a parking 
space designated and reserved for the physically handicapped, on 
either private or public property,; 
    (2) park a motor vehicle in or obstruct access to an area 
designated by a local governmental unit as a handicapped 
transfer zone; or 
    (3) exercise the parking privilege provided in section 
169.345, unless:  
    (a) (i) that person is a physically handicapped person as 
defined in section 169.345, subdivision 2, or the person is 
transporting or parking a vehicle for a physically handicapped 
person; and 
    (b) (ii) the vehicle visibly displays the certificate or 
one of the following:  a license plate issued to physically 
handicapped persons or the under section 168.021, a certificate 
issued to persons transporting physically handicapped persons by 
the department of public safety pursuant to under section 
169.345, subdivision 3, or 168.021, or if the vehicle visibly 
displays an equivalent certificate, insignia, or license plate 
issued by another state or one of its political subdivisions. 
    Subd. 2.  [SIGNS; PARKING SPACES TO BE FREE OF 
OBSTRUCTIONS.] (a) Handicapped parking spaces must be designated 
and identified by the posting of signs incorporating the 
international symbol of access in white on blue and indicating 
that the parking space is reserved for the handicapped persons 
with vehicles displaying the required certificate, license 
plates, or insignia.  Spaces which have been clearly identified 
for handicapped parking by signs which are not in compliance 
with the design standards as set forth in this subdivision shall 
also be deemed designated and reserved for the physically 
handicapped for the purposes of this section.  A sign posted for 
the purpose of this section must be visible from inside a 
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. 
    (b) The owner or manager of the property on which the 
designated parking space is located shall ensure that the space 
is kept free of obstruction.  If the owner or manager allows the 
space to be blocked by snow, merchandise, or similar 
obstructions for 24 hours after receiving a warning from a peace 
officer, the owner or manager is guilty of a misdemeanor and 
subject to a fine of up to $500. 
    Subd. 3.  [PENALTY.] Any A person who violates the 
provisions of subdivision 1 is guilty of a petty misdemeanor and 
shall be fined not less than $25 $100 nor or more than $100 
$200.  This subdivision shall be enforced in the same manner as 
parking ordinances or regulations are enforced in the 
governmental subdivision in which the violation occurs.  Law 
enforcement officers have the authority to tag vehicles parked 
on either private or public property in violation of the 
provisions of subdivision 1.  A physically handicapped person, 
or a person parking a vehicle for a handicapped person, who is 
charged with violating subdivision 1 because the person parked 
in a handicapped parking space without the required certificate 
or insignia license plates shall not be convicted upon producing 
if the person produces in court or prior to before the court 
appearance the required certificate or insignia evidence that 
the person has been issued license plates under section 168.021, 
and demonstrates entitlement to the certificate or insignia 
plates at the time of arrest or tagging. 
    Sec. 9.  [TRANSITION.] 
    From January 1, 1988, to December 31, 1988, the owner of a 
vehicle with license plates issued under Minnesota Statutes, 
section 168.021, before January 1, 1988, must reapply for the 
plates and submit the physician's statement required under 
Minnesota Statutes, section 169.345, subdivision 2a, to the 
commissioner of public safety when the registration for the 
plates expires.  A certificate issued under Minnesota Statutes, 
section 169.345, before January 1, 1988, expires on December 31, 
1988, unless it is reissued by the commissioner before that 
date.  The commissioner shall develop and implement an 
informational campaign to notify the public and holders of 
certificates and license plates issued before January 1, 1988, 
of the need to reapply for certificates and license plates and 
of other changes made by sections 1 to 8 in the certificate and 
license plate program for physically handicapped persons.  The 
council for the handicapped shall assist the commissioner and 
officials charged with enforcing municipal parking restrictions 
in the implementation of sections 1 to 8. 
    Sec. 10.  [REPEALER.] 
    Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 168.021, subdivision 7, is 
repealed. 
    Sec. 11.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    Sections 1 to 8 and 10 are effective January 1, 1988.  
Section 9 is effective the day following final enactment. 
    Approved June 2, 1987