The following was among actions taken at Tuesday's meeting of the Prince George's County Council. For more information, call 952-5182.
HANDICAPPED PARKING -- Council member Sue V. Mills introduced a bill that would allow handicapped citizens to take part in the process of ticketing nonhandicapped drivers who park in spaces reserved for the handicapped.
Mills said she proposed the bill in response to complaints from citizens in her district about the frequency with which unqualified drivers park in spaces reserved for handicapped drivers who have been issued special license plates and stickers by the department of motor vehicles.
"I've had a number of complaints about this from people who are not happy about it," Mills said.
The proposed bill asks that county police design and issue standardized forms to handicapped citizens to fill out and return to police when they observe drivers without special plates or stickers parking in spaces reserved for the handicapped.
The person requesting the citation would be required to personally observe the violation and to describe details such as the violator's license plate number and the time and date the violation occurred. Police would then review the form and could issue a $50 ticket, according to the proposal.
Wright said the county's law differs from handicapped parking laws in some neighboring jurisdictions in that police do not have to see a driver without special plates and stickers in the act of parking in a reserved space.
Phyllis Gallahan, a spokesman for Alexandria's traffic department, said Alexandria police cannot issue tickets to cars illegally parked in handicapped parking spaces unless they actually observe the driver parking. The proposed Prince George's law wouldn't "work here because police have to see them park in the space before they can be ticketed," Gallahan said.
Mills said "I'm not advocating a game of gotcha. I truly believe those spaces should be reserved for the handicapped."
Mark Wright, a spokesman for the county police department, said he could not comment on what impact Mills' proposed bill would have if passed, but said it could cause problems because it would mean bringing a third party into the ticketing process.