Today the New York State Senate unanimously passed, by a vote of 62-0, legislation introduced by State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village), which would increase the fine for repeat offenders who illegally park in a space designated for a handicapped person.
Sanders’ legislation (S3778) would amend the vehicle and traffic law to state that anyone who is guilty of a second violation, within 2 years of the first violation and occurring within the same municipality, would pay between $75 and $200. This represents an increase from the current maximum fine of $150. The fine for an initial violation is between $50 and $75, which remains unchanged by the bill.
“No able bodied person should be taking away a parking spot from a handicapped individual, whether it’s for convenience or any other reason,” Sanders said. “These reserved areas are particularly important in large cities like New York where spots are scarce and many disabled and elderly people need close access to places like doctors’ offices, supermarkets and banks.
A companion bill (A207) has been introduced in the Assembly by Assembly Member David McDonough (D-Bellmore). If it passes, it will move on to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.