DDOT: Handicapped drivers parking privileges reduced to 'red top meters'

WATCH: Mike Conneen has the story and talks with DDOT officials and with handicapped drivers.

Before March 1, drivers with handicapped placards or plates could park at meters for free and for double the time limit.

But this month DDOT changed its regulations, restricting those parking privileges to new "red top meters" only.

DDOT says the system had created an incentive for fraud and many able bodied drivers took advantage of the system. Now with these red top meters, more spaces will be open because everyone will have to pay.

Answering complaints that there are not enough red top meters available, DDOT says it's installing 1,100 more across the city by April 17.

Until then, the agency is scaling back regulations, allowing handicapped drivers to park at any meter for twice the posted time limit, as long as they pay.

DDOTt says it will do more outreach to the disabled community on these red top meters and will work to accomodate the needs of drivers who have depended on the parking access.