Providence, RI - State Representative Robert Nardolillo III (R District 28 – Coventry) will introduce legislation to increase penalties on drivers who knowingly park in designated handicapped spaces without a placard.
According to Rhode Island law, anyone who parks properly marked handicapped space without a placard is subject to a fine ranging from $100 for the first offence up to $325 for the third and subsequent offences. The law also says that a person’s car may be towed but leaves this decision at the discretion of the ticketing officer. Rep. Nardolillo’s bill would change towing from a discretionary to a mandatory act by requiring that any vehicle illegally parked in a handicapped space shall be towed at the owner’s expense.
“Some people out there see this as a victimless crime but that’s not so. There are thousands of Rhode Islanders who depend on these spaces every day and when someone knowingly parks in a handicapped spot without a placard they are not only being inconsiderate they may even be endangering someone else’s health” stated Rep. Nardolillo.
Thousands of Rhode Island residents are issued handicapped placards every year. This helps to ensure disabled individuals have easy and safe access to parking across the state including at doctors’ offices, government buildings, and pharmacies. Without these spots available handicapped individuals face serious risks especially in the winter when long walks and icy conditions could potentially lead to devastating falls.
“It’s time we send a message to those who chose to ignore the law for their own convenience. Keep these spaces free for those who need them or you pay the price” said Rep. Nardolillo.