July 20 2016

Funds Approved for Crackdown on Handicap Parking Misuse

By: Rich Hosford

The Burlington Board of Selectmen approved the use of funds to once again crack down on handicap parking violations in town. 


Disability Access Commission co-chair Kenny Tigges was at the meeting with Burlington Veterans Affairs Director and Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator Chris Hanafin and Traffic Officer William Trelegan to request permission to use funds from the Parking Fine Funds for two different projects. The money for the fund is provided by tickets and fines given to people who illegally park in handicap spots.  


The first was $5,000 to pay for an extra police detail to undertake another round of crackdowns on people who illegally park in handicap spots or misuse handicap parking placards. 


Trelegan said the last crackdown, dubbed Operation Access 3, that took place during the 2015 holiday season, netted 88 tickets and 20 citations of misuse of handicap placards. A total of 18 placards were seized and there four people were found to have altered documents to illegally park in handicap spots. 


The purpose of the Operation Access is twofold, police say. The first is to dissuade motorist who do not need to use handicap parking from doing so illegally. The second is to generate funds for the commission to pay for future operations and fund other projects. And as each ticket brings in $200 and each citation for placard misuse garners a $500 fine, the fund has filled up. 


The second expenditure was $3,192 to pay the difference in price between standard and handicap accessible portable toilets at town events and at the parks and playgrounds. 


Hanafin said the Recreation Department pays up front for the facilities and is asking the commission to cover the difference in price, which is $76 per unit. 


The board voted 5-0-0 to approve both expenditures. 

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