2016 Colorado Revised Statutes
Title 42 - Vehicles and Traffic
Regulation of Vehicles and Traffic
Article 4 - Regulation of Vehicles and Traffic
Part 12 - Parking
§ 42-4-1208. Reserved parking for persons with disabilities - applicability - rules

CO Rev Stat ยง 42-4-1208 (2016) What's This?

Legislative Alert:

LEXSEE 2017 Colo. HB 1067 -- See section 5.

(1) Definitions. As used in this section:

(a) "Disability" or "disabled" has the same meaning as set forth in section 42-3-204.

(b) "Holder" means a person with a disability who has lawfully obtained an identifying plate or placard.

(c) "Identifying figure" has the same meaning as set forth in section 42-3-204.

(d) "Identifying placard" has the same meaning as set forth in section 42-3-204.

(e) "Identifying plate" has the same meaning as set forth in section 42-3-204.

(f) "Professional" has the same meaning as set forth in section 42-3-204.

(g) "Reserved parking" means a parking space reserved for a person with a disability.

(2) Use of plate or placard. (a) A person with a disability may use reserved parking on public property or private property if the person displays an identifying plate or placard while using reserved parking.

(b) When an identifying placard is used for reserved parking, the driver of the parked motor vehicle shall ensure that the front of the identifying placard is legible and visible through the windshield when viewed from outside the vehicle. The driver shall hang the placard from the rear-view mirror unless a rear-view mirror is not available or the individual is physically unable to hang the placard from the rear-view mirror. If the tag is not hung from the rear-view mirror, the driver shall display it on the dashboard.

(c) A person with a disability who is a resident of a state other than Colorado may use reserved parking in Colorado if the motor vehicle displays an identifying plate or placard issued by a state other than Colorado, and if:

(I) The identifying plate or placard is currently valid in the state of issuance and meets the requirements of 23 CFR 1235; and

(II) The holder has not been a resident in Colorado for more than ninety days.

(d) A motor vehicle with an identifying plate or a placard may be parked in public parking areas along public streets or in private parking lots regardless of any time limitation imposed upon parking in the area; except that a jurisdiction may specifically limit reserved parking on any public street to no less than four hours. To limit reserved parking, the jurisdiction must clearly post the appropriate time limits in the area. The ability to park notwithstanding parking limitations does not apply to areas in which:

(I) Stopping, standing, or parking of all vehicles is prohibited;

(II) Only special vehicles may be parked; or

(III) Parking is not allowed during specific periods of the day in order to accommodate heavy traffic.

(e) (I) The owner of public or private property may request the installation of official signs or pavement markings identifying reserved parking spaces. The request operates as a waiver of any objection the owner may assert concerning enforcement of this section by a peace officer. An officer may enforce this section on private property notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary.

(II) (A) The number and placement of accessible parking spaces should meet or exceed section 1106 of chapter 11 of the 2012 (second printing) version of the international building code, or any succeeding standard, published by the international code council.

(B) The technical standards for accessible parking spaces should meet or exceed section 502 of the 2009 version of ANSI A117.1, or any succeeding standard, published by the international code council.

(C) Access aisles should post "Wheelchair Access Aisle Absolutely No Parking" sign, which blocks neither the access aisle nor accessible routes.

(D) The technical standards for post- or wall-mounted signs indicating accessible parking spaces and van-accessible parking spaces should meet or exceed section 2B.46 concerning parking, standing, and stopping signs and section 2B.47 concerning design of parking, standing, and stopping of the 2009 version of the manual on uniform traffic control devices, or any succeeding standard, published by the United States federal highway administration.

(III) The owner of real property with multiple-family dwellings affixed and with reserved parking shall retain the reserved parking as commonly owned for the tenants, owners, or visitors of the individual units within the dwellings. This subparagraph (III) does not prohibit the sale of all commonly owned property so long as the reserved parking is not severed from the other elements.

(IV) A person shall not impose restrictions on the use of disabled parking unless specifically authorized by a statute of Colorado and a resolution of or ordinance of a political subdivision of Colorado and notice of the restriction is prominently posted by a sign clearly visible at the parking space.

(3) Misuse of reserved parking. (a) A person without a disability shall not park in a parking space on public or private property that is clearly identified by an official sign or by visible pavement markings as being reserved parking or as being a passenger loading zone unless:

(I) The person is parking the vehicle for the direct benefit of a person with a disability to enter or exit the vehicle while it is parked in the reserved parking space; and

(II) An identifying plate or placard obtained under or authorized by section 42-3-204 is displayed in or on the vehicle if the license plate or placard is currently valid or has expired less than one month before the day the person used the reserved parking.

(b) (I) A person, after using a reserved parking space that has a time limit, shall not switch motor vehicles or move the motor vehicle to another reserved parking space within one hundred yards of the original parking space within the same eight hours in order to exceed the time limit.

(II) (A) Parking in a time-limited reserved parking space for more than three hours for at least three days a week for at least two weeks creates a rebuttable presumption that the person is violating this paragraph (b).

(B) This subparagraph (II) does not apply to privately owned parking spaces.

(c) A person shall not use reserved parking for a commercial purpose unless:

(I) The purpose relates to transacting business with a business the reserved parking is intended to serve; or

(II) The owner of private property consents to allow the use.

(d) (I) An employee of an entity shall not use an identifying placard issued to the entity unless the employee is transporting persons with disabilities.

(II) For a violation of this paragraph (d), the chief operations officer within Colorado of the entity to whom the placard or plate was issued and the offending employee are each subject to the penalties in section 42-4-1701 (4) (a) (I) (M).

(III) (A) It is an affirmative defense to a violation of this paragraph (d) for the chief operations officer within Colorado that the entity enforces an internal policy controlling access to and use of identifying placards issued to the entity.

(B) If the placard used is expired by operation of section 42-3-204 (6) (f), it is an affirmative defense to a violation of this paragraph (d) that the person did not know the placard was expired if the person who used the placard was the person to whom it was issued.

(e) (I) A person who violates paragraph (a) of this subsection (3) is subject to the penalties in section 42-4-1701 (4) (a) (VIII) and (IX).

(II) A person who violates paragraphs (b) to (d) of this subsection (3) is subject to the penalties in section 42-4-1701 (4) (a) (I) (M).

(4) Blocking access. (a) Regardless of whether a person displays an identifying plate or placard, a person shall not park a vehicle so as to block reasonable access to curb ramps, passenger loading zones, or accessible routes, as identified in 28 CFR part 36 appendix A, that are clearly identified unless the person is actively loading or unloading a person with a disability.

(b) A person who violates this subsection (4) is subject to the penalties in section 42-4-1701 (4) (a) (VIII).

(5) Fraud and trafficking. A person is subject to the penalties in section 42-4-1701 (4) (a) (X) if the person:

(a) Knowingly and fraudulently obtains, possesses, uses, or transfers an identifying placard issued to a person with a disability;

(b) Knowingly makes, possesses, uses, alters, or transfers what purports to be, but is not, an identifying placard; or

(c) Knowingly creates or uses a device intended to give the impression that it is an identifying placard when viewed from outside the vehicle.

(6) Enforcement of reserved parking. (a) A peace officer or authorized and uniformed parking enforcement official may check the identification of a person using an identifying plate or placard in order to determine whether the use is authorized.

(b) (I) A peace officer or authorized and uniformed parking enforcement official may confiscate an identifying placard that is being used in violation of this section.

(II) The peace officer or parking enforcement official shall send a confiscated placard to the department unless it is being held as evidence for prosecution of a violation of this section. If the tag is being held as evidence, the peace officer or parking enforcement official shall notify the department of the confiscation and pending charges.

(III) The department shall hold a confiscated placard for thirty days and may dispose of the placard after thirty days. The department shall release the placard to the person with a disability to whom it was issued when the person signs a statement under penalty of perjury that he or she was unaware that the violator used, or intended to use, the placard in violation of this section.

(c) A peace officer and the department may investigate an allegation that a person is violating this section.

(d) A person who observes a violation of this section may submit evidence, including a sworn statement, concerning the violation to any law enforcement agency.

(e) (I) A peace officer may issue a penalty assessment notice for a violation of paragraph (b), (c), or (d) of subsection (3) of this section by sending it by certified mail to the registered owner of the motor vehicle. The peace officer shall include in the penalty assessment notice the offense or infraction, the time and place where it occurred, and a statement that the payment of the penalty assessment and a surcharge is due within twenty days after the issuance of the notice. The department receives payment of the penalty assessment by the due date if the payment is received or postmarked by the twentieth day after the vehicle owner received the penalty assessment notice.

(II) If the penalty assessment and surcharge are not paid within twenty days after the date the vehicle owner receives the assessment notice specified in subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (e), the peace officer who issued the original penalty assessment notice shall file a complaint with a court having jurisdiction and issue and serve upon the registered owner of the vehicle a summons to appear in court at the time and place specified.

(f) (I) The entering court shall send certification of the entry of judgment for each violation of paragraph (b), (c), or (d) of subsection (3) of this section to the department.

(II) Upon receipt of certification of an entry of judgment for a violation of paragraph (b), (c), or (d) of subsection (3) of this section, the department shall not register the person's vehicle until all fines imposed for the violations have been paid.

(III) Upon receipt of certification or independent verification of an entry of judgment, the department shall revoke an identifying plate or placard as provided in section 42-3-204 (7) (d).

(g) (I) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary, a holder is liable for any penalty or fine as set forth in this section or section 42-3-204 or for any misuse of an identifying plate or placard, including the use of such plate or placard by any person other than a holder, unless the holder furnishes sufficient evidence that the identifying plate or placard was, at the time of the violation, in the care, custody, or control of another person without the holder's knowledge or consent.

(II) A holder may avoid the liability described in subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (g) if, within a reasonable time after notification of the violation, the holder furnishes to the prosecutorial division of the appropriate jurisdiction the name and address of the person who had the care, custody, or control of the identifying plate or placard at the time of the violation or the holder reports the license plate or placard lost or stolen to both the appropriate local law enforcement agency and the department.

(h) An employer shall not forbid an employee from reporting violations of this section. A person shall not initiate or administer any disciplinary action against an employee because the employee notified the authorities of a possible violation of this section if the employee has a good-faith belief that a violation has occurred.

(i) A landlord shall not retaliate against a tenant because the tenant notified the authorities of a possible violation of this section if the tenant has a good-faith belief that a violation has occurred.

(j) In order to stop a vehicle from blocking access or illegally using reserved parking, a peace officer may order a vehicle that is used to violate this subsection (4) to be towed to an impound lot or a vehicle storage location. The peace officer shall verify that the vehicle has not been stolen and report the fact of the tow to the department of revenue in accordance with section 42-4-1804.

(k) The state or local authority issuing a citation under this section, or under any local ordinance defining a substantially equivalent offense, shall transfer one-half of the fine to the state treasurer, who shall credit the fine to the disabled parking education and enforcement fund created in section 42-1-226.

(7) Statewide concern. (a) The general assembly finds that access to reserved parking by persons with disabilities ensures that those persons have equal access to goods and services essential for daily life.

(b) The general assembly determines that:

(I) Reserved parking for persons with disabilities is a state-administered program and that identifying license plates and placards are issued under state law;

(II) Because local regulations regarding reserved parking for persons with disabilities vary significantly across jurisdictions, they are inconsistent and confusing for persons with disabilities, medical professionals, peace officers, and members of the general public;

(III) Modern life requires travel across multiple local jurisdictions. Inconsistent local marking and enforcement of reserved parking for persons with disabilities confuses people, which prevents them from fully obeying disabled parking regulations;

(IV) A message disseminated by one political subdivision of the state using modern communication methods will be received by individuals from multiple political subdivisions. Any attempt to use modern communication methods to educate the public on local regulations governing reserved parking for persons with disabilities will result in public exposure to multiple inconsistent, confusing regulations, so education requires uniform regulation across the state, and a statewide effort is needed to educate the public about disabled parking. This effort is funded by fines that are typically issued by local authorities.

(c) The general assembly therefore declares that access to reserved parking by persons with disabilities is a matter of statewide concern and that the provisions set forth in this section preempt any action contrary to this section if the action is adopted by a political subdivision of the state.

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