State employee parks marked van in handicap spot without placard

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – People were outraged after they saw a state vehicle parking in a handicapped spot at the mall with no placard. The state admits the driver made a mistake, but not the mistake you’re probably thinking.

“State of New Mexico van parked in a handicap spot,” said an Albuquerque man in a video he took of the state vehicle parked outside the Coronado Mall.

The man was doing his own police work when he saw the van sitting in front of the handicap sign, but there was no handicap placard in the car. People in Albuquerque weren’t too happy to see the video he took either.

“I feel like they’re using their power unnecessarily,” said Susanna Carty.

Most people just thought it was wrong.

“I think they should be held to a higher judgement for that,” said Justin Gaudian.

One man knows the problem all too well.

“I would be outraged because I’m a disabled vet, and I have a New Mexico placard, I don’t think anybody for a state vehicle, nowhere in any state should be parking in a disabled parking spot,” said Leonard Webster.

The van is a Department of Health Vehicle. A spokesperson for the department said the state employee was transporting an elderly handicap person to the mall to go shopping. He said the person had a placard, but it was not placed in the car.

KRQE News 13 has reported on other state vehicles parked in handicap spaces. In November 2015, a woman reported a CYFD vehicle parked in a handicap space at a hotel. At the time we were told that incident was being investigated.

Wednesday, the spokesperson said they are taking steps to prevent this from happening in the future, to ensure placards are always present when transporting a disabled person.

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