LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — State lawmakers in Sacramento will announce on Wednesday that they want to audit the Department of Motor Vehicles’ handling of its Disabled Person Parking Placard program in the wake of increasing abuse.

Rich Martinez lost the use of his left leg during the Vietnam War and now uses a disabled parking placard. He said he is tired of having a hard time finding a space to park.

“So, we have to drive around until we find one, and then my wife has to carry a wheelchair in the back,” Martinez said. “I fought for this country for the freedom and rights, and I come back and people don’t care. All they’re worried about is their own time. All I can say is have a heart.”

He said it’s about time lawmakers want to do something about the fraudulent use of the placards.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Burbank, said “some of the people who use them are abusing the program. We don’t think the DMV is doing enough to crack down on wrongdoers.”

The audit is in response to ongoing investigations like the one done by CBS2/KCAL9’s Investigative Reporter David Goldstein, who found people using placards that belong to others, including some who are deceased.

Goldstein found people selling them on Craigslist and making hundreds of dollars. Some car service drivers even used the blue placards to get choice spots at LAX.

Gatto said even the DMV’s own Chief of Investigations admitted the placard abuse is significant.


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