Disabilities Parking Awareness and Enforcement Day

The Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities and the Baltimore City Department of Transportation today announced that on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 an aggressive education and enforcement effort will take place to raise awareness on the proper use of disability tags. The Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities and the Department of Transportation, along with the Parking Authority of Baltimore City, the Baltimore Police Department and Maryland Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration are uniting to educate the public once again on the appropriate use of disability license plates and accessible parking placards.

Handicapped accessible parking spaces are reserved for people with disabilities who also have a handicapped license plate or accessible parking placard issued by the Motor Vehicle Administration. Motorists without disabilities who park in spaces specifically marked for the handicapped, even ‘just for a minute’ is 60 seconds too long. “It is our responsibility to educate the public and ensure that the rights of citizens with disabilities are protected,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “We must remind citizens of the need to respect designated parking areas made available to those with disabilities."

The illegal use of handicapped parking spaces infringes upon the rights of citizens with disabilities and immediately becomes an enforceable violation. The Department of Transportation, Police Department, and the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) will be deploying Parking Control Agents who will target the most frequented handicapped parking violation locations. "Disabled parking spaces are for the disabled, not those who abuse the spaces for their own convenience," said John Kuo, MVA Administrator.

The penalty for parking in a designated handicap parking space has recently increased from $250.00 to $502.00. Since September 1, 2010 approximately 518 citations have been written. The City of Baltimore hopes that the results of educating the public through this initiative will allow easier and more frequent access to these designated parking spaces for residents and visitors with disabilities.

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