BOSTON (WWLP) – State lawmakers and Massachusetts Department of Transportation officials joined Governor Charlie Baker at the State House on Monday for a ceremonial signing of a handicapped parking bill.
Governor Baker officially signed the bill into law last week.
The new law sets further penalties for fraudulent use of handicapped parking plates or placards.
“Making sure that we stop the abuse so that those who need the placards, who need that space can get it,” State Senator Eileen Donoghue (D-Lowell) said.
Goverrnor Baker said the new law provides more clarity on the issue than the state had before.
“When people don’t have access to parking, it steamrolls, you know, it rolls down the hill-they can’t make their doctors appointments, they can’t do their shopping, whatever it might be because someone’s committing fraud or abusing the system,” Inspector General Glenn Cunha said.
Under the new law, people who give false information on a handicapped placard or plate application will receive a $500 fine.
Any future offenses will cost offenders $1,000.
“Disability parking spots are very important for people who need them because it represents their independence,” Office on Disability Director David D’Arcangelo told 22News. “If those spots are not available, well, that’s less independence that they’re going to have to be able to go into the community and frequent all the places that everybody else needs to frequent.”
People who fail to return a revoked or canceled handicapped plate or placard will receive a $100 fine.
The law also imposes a $50 fine for failure to properly display a placard or hiding the placard number or expiration date.