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Sheriff’s office increasing enforcement of handicap spaces laws

Nye County Sheriff's Auxiliary Officer Morris Goldner said he's seen enough of local motorists violating designated parking spots for the disabled at shops and businesses.

As such, the sheriff's office is taking an aggressive stand against the violators who park in designated spaces without the standard placard.

Additionally, Goldner said some of the responsibility falls on the shoulders of a few of the merchants in town who display their own signs regarding disabled parking.

"There are a lot of handicapped people in Pahrump and the signs are put up by the individual merchants and businesses, but most of them are wrong," he said. "Nevada Revised Statutes regarding this have changed quite a while ago and the new signs will have the new Nevada Revised Statutes and it will have the new fine amount. A lot of them now say $100, but actually the minimum is $250."

Goldner also said some merchants use just one sign to indicate several disabled parking spaces at their store front, but each space must have a designated sign according to local statutes.

"They can't do that because each parking space must have a sign of its own," he said. "We just want the public to know that we are going to enforce this procedure more stringently because there have been a lot of complaints from the disabled people who park."

Another issue Goldner addressed is the type of signs displayed in parking spaces.

He noted some drivers with the placards are still in violation if they don't pay attention to the signage.

"There are certain signs that say 'side-loading' vans only and people are still parking there," he said. "It ends up with people who are in wheelchairs being forced to park on the other side of the lot and they have to roll all the way in and that shouldn't be."

Though several local businesses and merchants have been notified of the renewed enforcement, Goldner said the big push will come in the not-too-distant future.

"After the sheriff meets with some of the business owners, we're going to draw it all up and provide informational packets to the local businesses and merchants as far as the type of sign and how long they will have to put them up," he said. "We're starting with the informational aspect and then we will move to the enforcement."

Goldner also said many drivers are not properly displaying their placards.

The correct placement should be on the rear-view mirror.

"When I investigate an illegal parking issue, I don't look for the placard on the seat or on the console or on the floor because it is supposed to be displayed on the rear-view mirror of the vehicle or the center of the dashboard where it can be seen from someone standing in front of the car. License plates are different because they have the handicap symbol on them."

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. Follow @sharrispvt on Twitter.

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