State Senate discussing bill targeting handicapped parking fraud

The Senate plans to debate the bill on October 4.

BOSTON, Mass. (SHNS) – The Massachusetts Senate appears poised to advance legislation cracking down on abusers of handicapped parking placards.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee on Thursday recommended legislation enabling the Registry of Motor Vehicles to hold up an application for a placard while they seek and verify documentation from applicants. The Senate on Thursday agreed to debate the bill on Oct. 4, with amendments due by the end of the day Monday, Oct. 2.

The bill (S 2168) also institutes a $50 fine for obstructing the expiration date on a placard or failing to make it visible, allows the Registry to investigate placard fraud and revoke placards if individuals obtained them under false pretenses, and increases the period of license suspension for wrongful use or display of a placard from 30 to 60 days for a first offense and 90 to 120 days for a second offense.

Based on legislation sponsored by Lowell Sen. Eileen Donoghue, the bill is a rewrite of a legislation recommended by the Transportation Committee (S 2099).