Bill advances to tow cars illegally parked in handicapped spaces

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s Senate passed a bill Tuesday to stiffen the penalty for drivers who park illegally in handicapped spaces.

Current law provides for a fine and states that vehicles “may be subject to towing.” Democratic Sen. Frank Lombardi’s bill specifies that vehicles parked illegally “shall be towed,” at the owner’s expense.

The bill heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Lombardi, of Cranston, said that parking illegally in a handicapped space is “one of the most unconscionable of petty crimes.”

“Most of us have witnessed this happening at one time or another. It’s infuriating and frustrating,” Lombardi said in a statement. “This legislation would direct law enforcement to have the vehicle towed in addition to citing the vehicle’s owner with a fine.”

The bill also specifies that the parking spaces must be properly marked.