NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

December 20, 2013

Report: Drivers found using deceaseds' handicapped placards

(Continued)

The inspector general’s office recommended lawmakers increase penalties for placard abuse, and the RMV increase enforcement, as well as tighten administrative controls to make abuse harder.

The IG also recommended the Registry appoint a liaison within its medical affairs bureau to educate local police departments about placard abuse. Waltham and Fall River already have enforcement programs, according to the report.

Cunha suggested the Legislature separate the meter exemption from the standard placard application and require each applicant to demonstrate a disability that prevents him or her from using a meter.

Investigators from the IG’s office and RMV last cracked down on disability parking abuses in 2010. Prior to that, there were investigations in 2009 and 2007. In 2007, the RMV redesigned the placards to make the expiration dates more visible.

Cunha was unavailable for comment after Thursday’s meeting.

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