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MOD often hears from concerned callers reporting violation of disability parking regulations asking what they can do to combat the problem.

Disability parking violation is certainly a serious issue that can take various forms. This post will outline some typical violations. One type is violators misusing a Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) disability placard or plate. Disability placards and plates allow individuals to park in designated disability spaces and other access e.g. exemption from parking time limits and meter fees. Eligibility for a placard or plate is based on a determination that the holder has a disability that prevents the person from walking more than 200 feet.

According to the Massachusetts RMV, misuse of a plate/placard includes but is not limited to:

  • using someone else’s disabled placard, or parking in a disabled spot with a HP plate and the disabled person not present
  • using an expired placard
  • using an old style Indefinite placard, which has not been valid for use since 2008
  • making a counterfeit placard, photocoping, or altering an existing one

If you suspect disability parking abuse as described above, you should contact the MA RMV’s Disability/ Handicap Parking Abuse program. However, it is important to remember that not all disabilities are visible. Please keep this in mind if you intend to report someone.

Other common complaints that come through our office are regarding violators who park in a space designated for people with disabilities without a plate/placard, blocking an access aisle or ramp used by people with disabilities, or in a bus stop. In these instances, citizens should contact local police or whoever has the authority to enforce the parking regulations in a particular scenario.  Unfortunately, police are not always able to respond to every alleged violation.  In the case of private lots, another suggestion would be to inform the businesses you are trying to patronize where disability parking violation seems to be a recurring problem.

Another resource in addressing violators is your local Commission on Disability (COD), which you can locate using MOD’s COD listing. CODs are established by vote of Town Meeting or City Council to promote the inclusion and integration of persons with disabilities in the community.  If your city or town does not have a commission, contact the municipal ADA coordinator or Town Administrator to see if there is interest in starting a Disability Commission. You can find your local ADA Coordinator on MOD’s municipal ADA coordinator list. From there, you could advocate for the establishment of a Disability Parking Patrol Program which would empower the COD to enforce disability parking laws. MOD is available to advise CODs interested in participating in the Disability Parking Patrol Program.

We hope this post empowers citizens to appropriately respond to disability parking violations. Please contact MOD for more information!

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