A former state trooper serving in the Iowa House has offered a bill to crack down on the fraudulent use of handicapped permits. Dave Tjepkes, a Republican from Gowrie, filed a bill to study the issue after hearing complaints from constituents about capable-looking people parking in handicapped spaces. He says only some of the handicapped parking permits issued in Iowa have expiration dates.
Tjepkes learned from the Iowa D.O.T. there are currently 400,000 handicapped permits in circulation because many are issued with no expiration date. “I won’t name names, but several lawmakers told me ‘oh, yeah, I have grandma’s parking permit. I kept it after she died 20 or 30 years ago,'” Tjepkes said.
The House Transportation Committee will consider legislation to require future permits to be periodically renewed. For those close to half a million hangtags already out there, Tjepkes expects an amended bill to require that they all expire at some date in the future and be reissued in a different color.