Officers crackdown on misuse of disabled parking permits in South Beach

Finding parking in South Beach is even challenging for residents who pay for access to reserved areas.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – David Suarez lives south of Fifth Street in the South Beach neighborhood known as SoFi.

He said the parking situation is becoming a nightmare because some drivers have fraudulent disabled parking permits.

“I was walking my dog one day down the street and ... I noticed that a valet employee, was parking in a residential spot, with a handicap placard,” Suarez said. “I see doormen, I see bouncers, I see construction workers.”

Miami Beach allows disabled parking permit holders to park for free in metered spots, municipal garages, and residential zones. Suarez said fraudsters are taking advantage of this.

Suarez has been recording videos of violators and sharing them on the Save SOFI site. In one of the videos, Suarez said he found 34 cars with disabled parking permits in just one area.

“It’s an injustice, right? And it’s the worst kind because they’re pretending to be disabled when they’re not,” Suarez said.

Officials said police officers are cracking down on the misuse of the parking permits. According to the Miami Beach Police Department, just in the month of November officers confiscated 14 permits, issued 9 citations, and towed 33 cars.

“This fraudulent use is impacting our residents and especially our disabled residents,” Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian said, adding he will support higher penalties for violators. and reconsider access to residential zones.

DISABLED PERMIT CRACKDOWN

  • 14 permits confiscated
  • 9 criminal citations issued
  • 33 cars towed

Source: Miami Beach Police Department


About the Author:

Amy Viteri is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined Local 10 News in September 2015. She's currently an investigative reporter and enjoys uncovering issues facing South Florida communities. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, she's happy to be back in South Florida, where she earned a masters degree at the University of Miami.