House approves a bill that would punish people who abuse disability parking spaces

Fines range from $100 to $300 for parking in a handicapped space without a disability license plate or placard.

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- It’s illegal to park in a disability parking space without the proper certification.

It also costs you a lot of money if you’re caught. In Massachusetts, fines range from $100 to 300 for parking in a handicapped space without a disability license plate or placard. It’s $200 in Greenfield.

“My parents have had handicap placards over the years, its discouraging when people abuse the system,” said Jeff Meckling of Greenfield.

The House unanimously passed a bill to punish people who lie on their disability plate application or reporting a lost placard. Violators would be fined $500 dollars and $1,000, for every offense after that. Greenfield Police Chief Robert Haigh told 22News they get between 5 to 10 handicap parking appeals a month.

“If you don’t have that placard and its not you that’s utilizing that placard for that space, then you don’t have a right to use that space, regardless if you want a 5 minute in and out. Its just not right,” said Chief Haigh.

Chief Haigh told 22News placards can only be used by the person they were made out to. You can apply for a disability placard or plate at the RMV.

The proposed law would also fine people $100 for not returning cancelled plates and placards. The disability parking abuse bill now heads to Governor Baker’s desk to be signed into law. It would go into effect September 2018.