Although they must comply with any relevant standards issued by the Americas with Disabilities Act, states are responsible for developing and enforcing their own handicapped parking laws. Oklahoma has several laws and regulations regarding handicapped-accessible parking and handicapped parking permits. The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety handles the state’s handicapped parking permit applications.
The Oklahoma Department of Pubic Safety issues both temporary and five-year handicapped parking permits. Handicapped parking privileges in Oklahoma are granted to individuals who must use a wheelchair, crutch, brace, prosthesis or other device in order to be mobile. People who cannot walk 200 feet without resting, require portable oxygen, are legally blind or who have certain heart and breathing conditions may also qualify for a handicapped parking permit. Oklahoma law requires handicapped placards and stickers from the Veterans Administration and federal military bases to be honored within Oklahoma.
Oklahoma fines both individuals who illegally park in handicapped spaces and people who misuse handicapped parking placards. Drivers are subject to a $500 fine if they park in a handicapped space without a handicapped placard, display a handicapped placard and park in a handicapped space when no handicapped person is present in the vehicle, or counterfeit handicapped placards. A 2010 Oklahoma law change now makes it possible for police to ticket drivers parked illegally even when the are on privately owned parking lots. Most of the fines collected for illegally parking in handicapped spaces go to local municipalities. The remainder is used to maintain a state database of registered handicapped parking placard holders.
Read More: Handicap Parking Rules
In order to qualify as a handicapped-accessible space, a parking space in Oklahoma must be 11 feet wide. Handicapped-accessible spaces must be labeled as such using Federal Highway Administration sign R7-8, which is a blue and white sign displaying an international handicapped symbol and the words “reserved parking.” Spaces designed to be accessible to a van should also show sign R7-8a, "Van Accessible," directly below sign R7-8. So that they can be seen even when a car is parked in the space, Oklahoma zoning laws require the signs labeling handicapped parking spaces to be mounted in such a way that the bottom of the sign is between five and eight feet off of the ground. The number of handicapped spaces required in a lot depends upon how many total off-street parking spaces the lot provides.
Writing professionally since 2008, Michelle Miley specializes in home and garden topics but frequently pens career, style and marketing pieces. Her essays have been used on college entrance exams and she has more than 4,000 publishing credits. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting, having graduated summa cum laude.