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New Bill in Florida Allows Law Enforcement to Crack Down on Handicapped Placard Abuse
The state of Florida has often been the front runner in implementing laws that support the elderly and disabled community. A new bill approved by the Florida House on March 7th continues this trend. The bill, House Bill 27 Disabled Parking Permits, was proposed by Representative John Patrick Julien (D-North Miami Beach).
The bill will allow officers to do random checks of and be able to confiscate any handicapped placard that has been fraudulently obtained or used unlawfully. It would also require the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to conduct random reviews of permit holders, verify certain information, and invalidate any permit that belonged to a person who is now deceased. They would also be required to provide a method for parking abuse to be reported by any citizen through a hotline, mail or online.
The bill is expected to be signed Gov. Rick Scott and to be implemented on July 1st. In Florida, using a permit belonging to someone else can be a first- or second-degree misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine or up to six months in jail. Fines for parking in a disabled space can vary, depending on jurisdiction.