From the LA Times:
Fraudulent use of disabled parking placards — those blue or red badges that allow motorists to park for free or in specially reserved spaces — has exploded in the last decade, according to state motor vehicle officials.
With 1 in 10 California drivers now legally registered to carry the passes, transportation experts say abuse has become commonplace. At any given moment, on any given street, more than a third of the vehicles displaying the tags — and parking without paying — are doing so illegally, say officials with the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
California, which has 24 million licensed drivers, will issue 2.1 million permanent placards this year, up from 1.2 million a decade ago. In Los Angeles County, about 621,000 of nearly 6 million licensed drivers have placards.
“The city of Los Angeles has six legal placards for every single city meter,” said Jonathan Williams, a transportation planner in Seattle who as a graduate student at UCLA researched the effect of legal disabled placards on city parking programs.
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