Mass. officials pass bill to fine motorists misusing handicap placards

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Massachusetts house unanimously passed a bill that fines anyone who intentionally makes a false statement on an application for a handicapped license plate or placard.

This news was relieving for Katie Purvis, the chairperson of the North Attleboro Commission on Disability. Purvis told Eyewitness News that she has seen many people abuse handicap parking spaces and is hopeful this law would change that.

Purvis said handicap parking spaces allow people like her to participate in every day activities.

“I’m one of those people who on a good day who can get maybe 100 feet on my own, and on a bad day, not one inch,” Purvis said.

The first offense would be $500 and any further offense would be $1,000. The Bill also proposes any driver who blocks the placard number or expiration date faces a $50 fine.

“It’s still very hard to get the general public to understand why these laws exist,” Purvis said. “If you are blocking the welcome mat from some of your neighbors and your relatives, and your employees, then you are doing something wrong.”

Purvis said anyone who abuses the reserved spots may not understand just how much those who qualify for them really need them.

The bill also aims to make sure the placard truly belongs to the driver using it. The proposal must be approved by the Governor before becoming a law.