Parking Illegally in Spot Designated for the Handicapped Could Soon Cost you $500

handicapped spot lkwdUnlawfully parking in a handicapped spot can get more pricy. Legislation to strengthen penalties for unauthorized parking in spaces reserved for persons with disabilities recently passed the full Assembly, 63-0-1.

The bill (A-2352), sponsored by Assembly Democrats Reed Gusciora, John Wisniewski and Daniel Benson, would establish a penalty of up to $500 for unlawfully using a parking placard issued to someone with a disability.

“Reserving parking spaces for individuals with disabilities is a fundamental element of our state’s commitment to ensuring equal opportunity for all of our residents, and preserving the integrity of that commitment requires establishing consequences for abuse,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “By discouraging drivers from unlawfully using placards that belong to a friend or relative, this bill will help ensure that the designated spaces are used only by authorized parties.”

The new penalty would be imposed in addition to the penalty for illegally parking in a parking space designated for individuals with disabilities. Current law sets the fine for parking in a restricted parking space without a placard at $250 for a first offense. Second and subsequent offenses carry a penalty of a minimum fine of $250 and up to 90 days of community service. The Motor Vehicle Commission may also revoke the placard or plates of a person who loans his or her placard or plates.

“Abuse of parking privileges intended to make facilities more accessible is a serious violation of the rights of New Jersey residents with disabilities, and it ought to be treated as such,” said Wisniewski (D-Middlesex). “This legislation will discourage such offenses and advance disability rights in our state.”

“Restricted parking spaces facilitate self-sufficiency for New Jersey residents with disabilities and are representative of our state’s belief that all people should have the opportunity to live, work and fully participate in society,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Safeguarding the rights of individuals with disabilities, as this bill does, must always be a priority.”

Under the bill, “unlawful use” shall include display of a placard by:

· a person other than a driver or passenger who was lawfully issued a temporary or permanent placard;

· a person who continues to use a lawfully-issued temporary placard past its date of expiration; or

· a person who was issued a permanent placard and subsequently had his or her disability identification card revoked or deemed invalid.

The Assembly approved the bill on Thursday, December 3. The Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee, chaired by Wisniewski, released the bill in June.

[TLS]

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10 COMMENTS

  1. The signs DO NOT REQUIRE A PERMIT. The word permit does not appear anywhere. The signs only mention handicap by displaying the international symbol of the handicap – a white wheel chair against a blue background. How is the public given notice which permit is required. The lack of notice on the warning specifying the requirement for a specific permit is unconstitutional if a summons is issued and enforced against anyone. The public entity may be required to add the specific permit requirement on the sign.
    That would add several million dollars to the cost of notice.

  2. But before you yell at a young person parking on a handicapped spot, check first if he has a placard . I get comments all the time, because i look to young to need that spot, but after battaling a serious illness, that left damage on my insides, on the outside I look picture perfect

  3. also, use your common sense. if theres a handicapped sign, dont park there if you dont need it. Saying that “i didnt know you need a placard” just dosent go. Beleive me, if you need it you will know how to get there.

  4. Your comment does not go to the legal requirement to notify the PUBLIC what is required to prove that you are handicapped. Common sense is not a legal term and is subjective. That you might consider yourself handicapped, does not mean that it meets the legal threshold of handicapped. Are you handicapped if you fell that day and severely damaged a body part making walking extremely painful or even potentially damaging? Does this require a handicap permit?

    Notice is a legal threshold for charging the public with a violation to which a punishment is attached. If the law requires a handicap permit, notice on the sign must be clearly so stated.

  5. There is a form that your doctor must complete certifying that you are either temporarily or permanently disabled. The condition must be specified. The applicant then gets either a temporary or permanent placard to be displayed when they use a handicapped spot or a license plate with the handicapped symbol on it. The disabled person also gets an attachment for his/her license authorizing them to have the placard. The person with that permit must be in the vehicle to use the handicapped spot. I am one of those people who looks healthy but has numerous conditions that make walking difficult. A $500 fine seems appropriate for violations. Handicapped spots are hard to come by for those that need them.

  6. I believe everyone who has a drivers license took the driving test.In the manual there are no permit requirements on the sign. There is no definition on a STOP sign either.

Comments are closed.