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LAW FOCUSES ON HANDICAPPED PARKING

Gov. Pataki has signed a new state law that he hopes will curb the "rude and selfish" behavior of New Yorkers who illegally park in handicapped-designated spaces.

The new law, signed Monday and expected to take effect April 1, 2000, imposes a $30 mandatory surcharge in addition to any other fines or penalties imposed for illegally parking in a designated handicapped parking space.

"People with handicaps should not be further impaired by rude and selfish people who put their own needs ahead of those who truly need these parking spots," Pataki said.

Half of the surcharge, or $15, will be paid to the law enforcement agency that writes the ticket. The other half will be paid to the county in which the violation occurs.

The portion paid to the county will be placed in a "County Handicapped Parking Education Fund" and used to provide increased awareness of handicapped parking laws, Pataki said.

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