INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana Senate voted 45-4 Monday to double the minimum fine imposed on a non-disabled motorist who parks illegally in a handicapped spot.
Senate Bill 387, which now goes to the House, raises the minimum fine to $100 from $50. Local governments can set a higher fine.
State Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso, is sponsor of the legislation. He said his goal isn't to raise money but to change driver behavior.
"I believe that it is against all common decency for a physically able person to park in a slot that's reserved for a physically handicapped person or a disabled veteran that needs that parking spot," Charbonneau said.
Senators questioned Charbonneau as to whether it is fair to impose such a stiff fine on someone using the handicapped spot while quickly running into a store, or if the spot isn't well marked.
Charbonneau reiterated his position that it's never acceptable for a non-handicapped person to use a handicapped parking spot.
State Rep. Rick Niemeyer, R-Lowell, will sponsor the legislation in the House.