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Tampering with disabled parking placards to draw bigger fines in ME

| October 31, 2013

Drivers found tampering or using expired disabled parking placards in Portland, Maine may now have to pay a heftier fine of $200. On 21 October, the City Council gave the first reading of this ordinance change in an effort to curb the rampant misuse of disabled passes.

If the new rule is implemented, frustrated parking officials can expect some relief as the fear of a heavy penalty might stop people from this unlawful practice. However, this regulation can only be enforced after a second reading of the ordinance and the City Council’s approval vote.

Reason behind the ordinance

Trish McAllister, the city’s prosecutor, wrote a memo to the council about how misusing disabled parking placards has become a norm amongst residents – according to her, abuse of handicapped placards by tampering is a major problem – drivers tinker with the expiration date of the placards to prolong their validity.

“They [Parking Division] even report cases where people take a dead relative’s hang tag and use it for years. The fact that there is no ordinance to enforce is a source of frustration to the parking officers, who can clearly see the deception, and also the public at large, especially those who rightfully use disabled tags,” she adds.

Misuse of disabled parking spaces

Blatant abuse of disabled parking spaces is a growing concern for city officials all over the nation. (Image courtesy: Donald)

Parking enforcement officials can now leave tickets on offending vehicles’ windshields

The Parking Division of Portland allows accessible parking only for people with appropriate plates or hangtags. As per the city law, “registrant vehicles bearing disabled plates or placards are exempt from meter fare and are entitled to park for twice the posted time limit at a meter or time zone.”

Currently, police officers can issue summons to a person found tampering with disabled parking placards. But they have to wait for the driver to return to the car. As parking division personnel are more likely to discover the violations; with the ordinance change, parking enforcement officials can now leave tickets on windshields of violators’ cars as is the case for other parking offences.

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Category: Enforcement, Handicapped parking

About the Author ()

A creative writer at heart, Lisa currently writes for SmartSign’s blogs and dabbles in content strategies for SEO. She spends the rest of the time lounging in the comforts of her home, surfing the internet for areas of interest, or traveling to unexplored destinations. Having previously studied and worked in the field of journalism and media, Lisa likes calling herself a web journalist. She takes special interest in grassroots and tribal issues, and topics concerning women empowerment. She swears that books are a person’s best travel companion, and that good food can liven up any dull day. Lisa lives in the beautiful city of Jaipur, India.

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