DENVER (CBS4)– Under the Chris Hinds Act, Colorado drivers with certain disabilities no longer have to pay parking meters. The act creates a purple placard that exempts drivers with a disability from paying for parking at meters if their disability impacts their ability to pay.
Hinds has been a paraplegic since 2008. He received the first purple placard in Colorado at the Department of Motor Vehicles on Monday morning.
Colorado already had a similar law in place, but Hinds learned the hard way that all areas didn’t have to enforce it.
A few years ago, Hinds assumed the previous law allowed him to park meter-free on the Auraria Campus. He had a ticket on his windshield when he got back to his car.
That’s when Hinds pushed to fix the loophole, and create a new law that honors the purple placard at all meters.
Specifically, the Chris Hinds Act details the exemption for those with a disability that affects:
1. Fine motor control in both hands.
2. Ability to reach a height of 48 inches from the ground due to lack of finger, hand, or upper extremity strength or mobility.
3. Their ability to reach or access a parking meter due to the use of a wheelchair or other ambulatory device.
Hinds says the meters are just not accessible to people with certain disabilities.
“On most parking meters, the display is angled upwards. If the height is at 48 inches and the display is angled upwards, I can grab the card and put it in but I don’t know if I put any money in or if the card was declined. Did I get 30 minutes or 30 hours of parking? I don’t know,” explained Hines.
The form to apply for a placard can be found on the DMV‘s website. A medical professional must sign the form before it can be reviewed by the DMV.
The DMV expects to issue around 20,000 purple placards across Colorado.