The first meeting of the Advisory Committee on Traffic Safety focused on abuses of the disability parking program. Secretary of State Jesse White moved to toughen penalties for those who abuse parking privileges for the disabled. “The message I’m sending is simple: if you don’t belong there, don’t park there,” White said. “Stronger penalties will hopefully make people think twice before they deprive a person with a disability from using a disability parking spot.”
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White admits that part of the problem is on the enforcement end when it comes to catching scofflaws who are illegally using handicap placards to park. White has recommended making the offense of using a deceased person’s placard a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a minimum one year driver’s license revocation and a $2,500 fine. In addition, general misuse of a disability license plate or placard would carry a six-month suspension, up from 30 days.