Alliance to crack down on drivers violating handicap parking

Posted May 22, 2009, at 8:02 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor Police Department and Alpha One, a statewide organization that helps people with disabilities to live independently, have launched a joint effort aimed at helping the police department more effectively deal with motorists who violate handicap parking ordinances.

Alpha One, which also teaches adaptive driver assessment and is a big proponent of educating the public about disability issues, has provided a limited number of volunteers who, in the course of their daily activities, will document violations of handicap parking ordinances.

The initiative, which began May 11, included police department training for volunteers regarding what information is needed to pursue a handicap parking violation, and how to evaluate situations so as to keep people safe and not produce frivolous citations.

Drivers of vehicles parked in handicap parking spaces without a valid disability plate or placard or who block access to a handicap access aisle or curb cut — both of which carry a fine of up to $500 — will be mailed notices of violation.

The notices inform the recipient that city police have received information, as well as a photograph to be placed on file, from an Alpha One volunteer indicating their vehicle was parked in violation of handicap parking rules.

The notice also includes a series of check-off boxes notifying the owner of the type of violation and whether the owner is receiving a parking ticket or a warning.

The notice also includes an explanation of the rules concerning handicap parking spaces and illustrations showing where a disability placard should be placed on or inside a vehicle and examples of signage and painted spaces used to show where a motorist who does have a handicap placard or plate may park.

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