H.P. 1213 - L.D. 1706
An Act To Prohibit Parking in Access Aisles
Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, current law is ambiguous on the use of access aisles for disability parking by the disabled; and
Whereas, it is necessary that this ambiguity be eliminated as soon as possible; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 29-A MRSA §521, sub-§9-A, as amended by PL 2005, c. 433, §7 and affected by §28, is further amended to read:
9-A. Enforcement of disability parking restrictions. A law enforcement officer may enforce disability parking restrictions. The State Police shall enforce disability parking restrictions at service facilities established on the Maine Turnpike and on the interstate highway system in the State. A person commits a traffic infraction if that person parks in a parking space
or access aisledesignated and clearly marked for persons with physical disabilities and has not been issued or is not transporting a person who has been issued a disability registration plate or a removable windshield placard pursuant to this section or section 523 or a disability registration plate or placard issued by another state. A person commits a traffic infraction if that person parks in an access aisle, regardless of whether the person has been issued a disability registration plate or removable placard. Notwithstanding section 2604, a person who violates this subsection is subject to a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $500.
Sec. 2. 29-A MRSA §521, sub-§9-B is enacted to read:
9-B. Registered owner's liability for vehicle illegally parked in disability parking space access aisle. A person who is a registered owner of a vehicle at the time that vehicle is involved in a violation of subsection 9-A commits a traffic infraction. For purposes of this subsection, "registered owner" includes a person issued a dealer or transporter registration plate.
A. Anyone who observes a violation of subsection 9-A may report the violation to a law enforcement officer. If a report is made, the observer shall report the time and the location of the violation and the registration plate number and a description of the vehicle involved. The officer shall initiate an investigation of the reported violation and, if possible, contact the registered owner of the motor vehicle involved and request that the registered owner supply information identifying the operator.
B. The investigating officer may cause the registered owner of the vehicle to be served with a summons for a violation of this subsection.
C. Except as provided in paragraph D, it is not a defense to a violation of this subsection that a registered owner was not operating the vehicle at the time of the violation.
D. The following are defenses to a violation of this subsection.
(1) If a person other than the owner is found to be operating the vehicle at the time of the violation and is adjudicated of violating subsection 9-A, then the registered owner may not be found in violation of this subsection.
(2) If the registered owner is a lessor of vehicles and at the time of the violation the vehicle was in the possession of a lessee, and the lessor provides the investigating officer with a copy of the lease agreement containing the information required by section 254, then the lessee and not the lessor may be charged under this subsection.
(3) If the vehicle is operated using a dealer or transporter registration plate and at the time of the violation the vehicle was operated by any person other than the dealer or transporter, and if the dealer or transporter provides the investigating officer with the name and address of the person who had control over the vehicle at the time of the violation, then that person and not the dealer or transporter may be charged under this subsection.
(4) If a report that the vehicle was stolen is given to a law enforcement officer or agency before the violation occurs or within a reasonable time after the violation occurs, then the registered owner may not be charged under this subsection.
E. Notwithstanding section 2604, a person who violates this subsection is subject to a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $500.
Sec. 3. 30-A MRSA §3009, sub-§1, ¶D, as amended by PL 2003, c. 117, §1, is further amended to read:
D. The following provisions apply to the establishment and policing of parking spaces and access aisles for
handicapped disabled persons.
(1) Municipal public parking areas are subject to any applicable requirements of the Maine Human Rights Act, Title 5, chapter 337, subchapter 5. The municipality shall post a sign adjacent to and visible from each
handicapped disability parking space established by the municipality. The sign must display the international symbol for accessibility.
(2-A) Enforcement of
handicapped disability parking restrictions must be in accordance with Title 29-A, section 521, subsection 9-A.
(3) Any vehicle or motorcycle parked in a parking space clearly marked as a
handicapped disability parking space and that does not bear a special registration plate or placard issued under Title 29-A, section 521 or 523, or a similar plate issued by another state, must be cited for a forfeiture fine of not less than $100 $200 and not more than $500. "Clearly marked" includes painted signs on pavement and vertical standing signs that are visible in existing weather conditions.
(4) The municipal officers may establish and enforce the time limit for use of a parking space reserved as a
handicapped disability parking space on a public way or public parking area.
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this Act takes effect when approved.
Effective April 4, 2006.
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