Ohio issuing far more handicapped parking tags

COLUMBUS, OH (AP) - Ohio's aging population has brought a surge in the number of handicapped parking tags given out in the state.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the Bureau of Motor Vehicles last year issued more than 320,000 of the placards - greater than the number issued in 2001 and 2002 combined.

The tags allow vehicles to park in special spaces closer to businesses and facilities. Nearly 1.2 million Ohio residents, or 10 percent of the state's population, held valid handicapped parking permits in 2010.

A doctor's prescription is needed for obtaining a placard. The Dispatch reports the tags are issued only for specific reasons laid out in state law, such as a motorist or passenger not being able to walk 200 feet without needing to rest.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)