HARRISBURG – The Senate unanimously approved legislation today to improve accessibility and strengthen enforcement measures of parking spaces for persons with disabilities, according to the bill’s sponsors, Senators John C. Rafferty, Jr. (R-44) and Scott Martin (R-13).
Senate Bill 888 would address deficiencies in current law pertaining to penalties and enforcement of parking spaces for persons with disabilities. Under this legislation, violators who illegally park in parking spaces or block access aisles designated for persons with disabilities will be subject to towing, charged with a summary offense and susceptible to increased fines.
A key provision in this legislation creates parking regulations for access aisles. In order to accommodate vehicles equipped with ramps, wheelchair lifts and other devices, parking spaces that are designated for persons with disabilities include access aisles, generally marked with diagonal lines adjoining the space. These parking spaces and access aisles are necessary to improve mobility for persons with disabilities to access medical appointments, shopping centers and other locations.
“Persons with disabilities need assurance that disabled parking spaces, access aisles and curb ramps are properly enforced, managed and maintained,” said Rafferty, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee. “Our legislation will modernize the Commonwealth’s disabled parking laws and ensure our interconnected transportation network is accessible for persons with disabilities.”
“Blocking a parking space or access aisle can severely limit the mobility and independence of an individual who has a disability,” Martin said. “The penalty under the law should reflect not only the importance of keeping these spaces and access aisles clear, but also the hardship created by motorists who ignore the law.”
Senate Bill 888 was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.