Rick Smith, Chief of Police
1 Union St.
Wakefield, MA 01880
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Wakefield Police Department to Participate in Placard Abuse Prevention Week
WAKEFIELD — Chief Rick Smith announces that the Wakefield Police Department will be participating in Placard Abuse Prevention Week to help reduce the misuse of handicap placards statewide.
Placard Abuse Prevention Week, which runs from May 6-13, is led by a task force through the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). The initiative aims to reduce disabled parking placard abuse so that parking spaces are always available for those who need them.
The Wakefield Police Department will be on the lookout in parking lots and shopping plazas for expired and/or misused placards. Violators will be issued a citation or ticket, and officers will send the placard’s information to the RMV for confiscation. Placard owners/holders can face penalties even if they’re not present at the time of misuse.
The most common forms of handicap parking abuse include:
- Using a placard that belonged to a deceased relative
- Using a spouse’s placard without the spouse present
- Using an expired placard
- Using placards with altered expiration dates
“Placard Abuse Prevention Week is a great initiative to help prevent our disabled community members from being taken advantage of,” Chief Smith said. “Illegally using a disability placard may seem harmless, a matter of convenience, but it puts an unnecessary burden on people who physically require a close place to park.”
Additionally, in January, the RMV revamped its placard application to deter abuse and raise awareness of abuse with the medical community. The RMV is now automatically cancelling placards upon death notification and requesting placards of deceased individuals be returned by their estate.
If you know of or witness someone abusing a handicap placard or plate, call the Wakefield Police Department at 781-245-1212 or visit the RMV online to fill out a form.