C'mon, fess up. Have you ever misused a handicapped parking placard? Or witness somebody else do it? I once had a buddy years ago who borrowed his disabled uncle's parking placard to hang from his rearview mirror because he and a group of friends were going to a football game and they wanted to park as close to the stadium as possible. Shameful...

Apparently, my buddy was not alone. Enough people across this country do that, or something along those lines, where we need to bring attention to it. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has announced Placard Abuse Prevention Week, a yearly public service campaign.

According to mass.gov, the event is happening this week and it was developed by the RMV and members of the Massachusetts Disability Placard Abuse Task Force. The week is designed to bring attention and awareness to the misuse of handicapped parking placards and to let the public know about the penalties for using fraudulent credentials.

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Colleen Ogilvie, Acting Registrar of Motor Vehicles, had this to say in a statement:

The RMV takes intentional misuse of disability placards very seriously and we are pleased to set aside a dedicated week to raise awareness of this issue. Placards should only be used by customers who have a documented physical need for this accommodation and require parking spaces which are in close physical proximity to their destinations.

The four most common forms of disability placard abuse are:

  1. Using an expired placard.
  2. Making a counterfeit placard.
  3. Using someone else's disability placard.
  4. Using an old-style indefinite placard, which has been non-valid as of 2008.

And by the way, they are dead serious about these crimes. The Baker-Polito Administration signed into law legislation that imposed a $500 fine for first-time violators and a $1,000 fine for a second violation, so consider yourself warned.

For more, please check out mass.gov's website here.

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