Fiona Ma for State Assembly

Bill Would Raise Fines for Disabled Placard Abuse

San Francisco Assemblywoman Fiona Ma and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency have teamed up to fight the fraudulent use of disabled parking placard.

Ma has sponsored a bill in the Assembly that would increase penalties for abuse of the placards. Ma said the number of disabled placards issued in California jumped 131 percent from 1997 to 2007, "and empirical evidence strongly indicates that there has been a significant increase in misuse and fraud as well."

SFMTA Executive Director Nathaniel Ford said abuse of disabled placards costs both the city and the disabled community.

"The purpose of this legislation is to ensure that the limited parking resources in desirable locations are made available to those who truly need the access," said Ford.

The bill, if passed, will increase penalties for some placard violations from $100 to between $250 and $1,000. It passed the assembly in May and heads to a senate committee June 23.