HARRISBURG – Senators Scott Martin (R-13) and John C. Rafferty, Jr. (R-44) announced legislation today designed to improve accessibility of parking spaces for persons with disabilities.
The number of parking spaces that are designated for persons with disabilities is limited. In order to accommodate vehicles equipped with ramps, wheelchair lifts and other devices, these spaces 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.
Senate Bill 888 aims to address deficiencies in current law pertaining to penalties and enforcement of parking spaces for persons with disabilities, including provisions for enforcing access aisles. 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.
“Our legislation should provide the needed clarity for law enforcement, public agencies and businesses to enforce, protect and maintain these critical parking spaces and access aisles,” stated Rafferty, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee. “Modernizing the Commonwealth’s disabled parking laws should ensure our interconnected transportation network is accessible for persons with disabilities.”
Under the proposed legislation, Senate Bill 888, violators who block access aisles could be charged with a summary offense and could face increased penalties and/or having their vehicle towed.
“Given the limited availability of parking spaces for motorists with disabilities, these spaces need to be protected and properly enforced,” Martin said. “In many cases, blocking an access aisle has the same effect as illegally parking in the space. In these instances, the penalties should be the same.”
The legislation was announced at a news conference today at the East King Street Parking Garage in Lancaster. The news conference included a demonstration by a local resident of some of the challenges facing persons with disabilities when they have insufficient space to park.
Nolan Ritchie, Senator Rafferty’s Office, (717) 787-1398
Terry Trego, Senator Martin’s Office, (717) 787-6535