A local representative has introduced a new piece of legislation in hopes of providing temporary plates to disabled motorists. The following is a release from the Rhode Island General Assembly.
Rep. Jan P. Malik (D-Dist. 67, Barrington, Warren) says that individuals who apply for disability registration plates should be provided with a temporary plate while they wait to receive the new licence plates.
“Anyone who qualifies for disability plates is obviously qualified at that very moment, not at some time down the road,” said Representative Malik. “Their need for the plates is legitimate and it is immediate. Being expected to wait is more than a simple inconvenience; it is and can be a major problem for individuals who have permanent or long-term impairments that prevent or impede walking, or that requires the use of a wheelchair or walker when they are not in their car.”
Representative Malik has introduced legislation, 2012-H 7415, to authorize the Division of Motor Vehicles to issue a temporary, 21-day parking permit for a person with a disability while that person is waiting to receive a permanent disability registration plate or placard.
The bill, which is before the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare, would allow the DMV to appoint a licensed physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner or registered nurse as an agent authorized to issue such a permit.
“What makes this legislation so beneficial to Rhode Islanders who qualify for a disability plate is that they can get a temporary plate directly from medical providers who qualify to issue them,” said Representative Malik. “When they patients walk out of their doctor’s offices, they immediately have disability parking privileges, without having to first go to the DMV and then wait until their permanent plates arrive.”
“Rhode Island has a large elderly population,” said Representative Malik. “Many remain active and mobile throughout their senior years, but others do not. Some need the disability permits to continue to lead normal lives, despite their physical limitations.”
“This legislation is just a matter of common sense,” said Representative Malik. “These plates are provided to disabled individuals so their mobility can be improved. Making them wait to exercise a privilege they have been granted is just not right. That kind of bureaucratic delay should not be another impediment they have to deal with.”