Police crack down on handicapped parking

The Wilton Police Department is cracking down against handicapped parking violations in a campaign that runs through Nov. 19.

The campaign, that began Nov. 1, involves education, with local property owners educated in the proper marking of handicap spaces. In addition, the public will be educated on the law as it pertains to handicap parking and the usage of a validly issued handicap placard. Second, the campaign will involve enforcement of handicap parking violations throughout the town, said Capt. Robert Cipolla, spokesman for the department.

He said the department has received reports of improper usage of handicap spaces in town.  “The campaign is reactive in the sense that we are addressing concerns related to us by the public, but proactive in regarding educating local property owners and enforcement,” Cipolla said.

The law specifies that it does not allow a state resident with a disability to park in an area that is reserved for handicap parking if he or she does not display the special plate or placard on or in their vehicle, Cipolla said. Handicap placards and vehicles bearing a special license plate may not use a handicap parking space unless the vehicle is being driven by or carrying a passenger to whom the placard or plate were issued,” Cipolla said..

People who have been issued a handicap placard must display it as follows:

  1. The placard must be hung from the front windshield rearview mirror when using a handicap parking space.

  1. If there is no rearview mirror, the placard must be placed in clear view on the dashboard.

Connecticut General Statute 14-253a is enforceable on public and private property and states that any person who parks a motor vehicle in a designated parking spot reserved for exclusive use by blind persons or persons with disabilities and does not display either a special license plate, a license plate displaying the international symbol of access, a removable windshield placard, or a placard that is the same as a removable windshield placard except that the international symbol of access appears on a red background is guilty of an infraction.

Fine Amounts are $150 for the first offense, $250 for the second offense, and as a third offense, a vehicle may be impounded until the fine is paid.

The use of a handicap placard or a special license plate issued to a person that is deceased is punishable by a $500 fine.  In addition, all handicap parking permits expire and require a renewal fee, even lifetime permits.