December 16 2014

Burlington Police to Crack Down on Handicap Parking Violations with Pilot Program

By: Rich Hosford

It shouldn’t have to be stated, but just in case – don’t park in handicap spots unless you need them and have a handicap placard or license plate. 


The Burlington Police Department will be cracking down on violators who misuse the designated spots with a pilot program this holiday season. The Burlington Board of Selectmen voted unanimously on Monday night to approve using $10,000 in funds for the police to put out special details to survey handicap parking spaces at the Burlington Mall. 


Burlington Police Sergeant Gerry McDonough and Burlington Disability Access Commission member Mary Jane Fietze were at the meeting to discuss the new program. 


McDonough said he received a letter from the Waltham Police Department, which had undertaken a similar program, and said it had success is curbing parking violations in handicap spaces. 


“It is working there,” he said. 


McDonough said in Burlington the pilot program, which would have police on detail assignments checking to ensure those parked in the spots are legally allowed to do so, will focus primarily on the Burlington Mall to begin with. He said about half of the violation in town occur there. 


The money for the detail will come from the Disability Access Commission, which is mostly made up of money collected by ticketing violators. 

Chairman of the board Robert Hogan said he was in favor of the program and said the long-term goal was to ensure no violations occur. 


“Eventually the goal is not to have to write any tickets,” he said. “We want to make it so the spaces are always available for those who need it.”


McDonough said that though he wants to start the pilot program now, it will be worth to keep it going after the holiday season. 


“This is a test case and it is being done at a difficult time of the year for us, when the department is busy,” he said. “If we try this again after the start of the New Year we may have different results.” 

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