Michael J. d’Entremont
Chief of Police
600 High St.
Dedham, MA 02026
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Dedham Police Conduct Targeted Enforcement of Handicap Parking Violations
DEDHAM — Chief Michael d’Entremont reports that the Dedham Police Department conducted targeted enforcement of handicap parking rules throughout the month of December.
As a result of that enhanced enforcement effort, which consisted of officers completing 189 parking checks throughout town, Dedham Police issued 86 citations and discovered 17 instances in which handicap placards were being misused.
In each case, the improper placards were seized and drivers were cited. Common forms of placard 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
“The efforts of our officers were an important way to ensure that handicap parking is available to those who need it, especially during a time of the year when demand for parking is higher,” Chief d’Entremont said. “It’s important to us that drivers are aware that misusing a handicap placard and unauthorized use of a handicap space are not victimless crimes, and that doing so carries consequences.”
The handicap parking enforcement effort also fulfilled a broader department goal to increase its officers’ visibility in crowded shopping areas during the holiday season.
Last fall, Gov. Charlie Baker signed legislation into law that imposes tougher penalties on those who misuse handicap placards, including a $500 fine for a first offense of using the placard or plate of a deceased individual — $1,000 for a second offense — and doubling the length of a license suspension for a first offense of fraudulently displaying a handicap plate or placard. License suspensions for subsequent offenses were also increased, from 90 days to 120 days.
In order to qualify for a disability placard or plate, drivers must obtain certification from a medical professional that proves they meet one of the following conditions (those applying for a temporary placard must obtain certification that their condition is predicted to last at least two months):
- Cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest.
- Cannot walk without the assistance of another person, prosthetic aid or other assistive device.
- Are restricted by lung disease to such a degree that your forced (respiratory) expiratory volume (FEV) in 1 second, when measured by spirometry, is less than 1 liter.
- Use portable oxygen.
- Have a Class III cardiac condition according to the standards set by the American Heart Association.
- Have a Class IV cardiac condition according to the standards set by the American Heart Association. A customer in this condition must surrender their license.
- Have Class III or Class IV functional arthritis according to the standards set by the American College of Rheumatology.
- Have Stage III or Stage IV anatomic arthritis according to the standards set by the American College of Rheumatology.
- Have been declared legally blind. A customer in this classification must surrender their license.
- Have lost one or more limbs or permanently lost the use of one or more limbs.
For more information, visit the RMV website.