It's now law in Massachusetts. People who defraud, abuse or in any way misuse handicapped placards and license plates will face new stiff fines. The law signed by Gov. Charlie Baker this week imposes much tougher fines for using a handicapped license plate or placard will be extended from 30 days to 60 days for the first offense and 90 to 120 days if it happens again. But wait there's more!

The new law also imposes harsher fines for using a plate or placard that was issued to a person who has since died. You'll get hit with a $500 fine for the first offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense. The law also calls for a $50 fine on any driver who obstructs the expiration date or number of a handicapped placard.

Glen Cunha, the state's Inspector General found rampant abuse of access to handicapped parking, including placards that were being used to park for free all day at spaces near the driver's workplace and placards belonging to dead people.

This new law is intended to crack down on pathetic people who fraudulently use handicapped license plates or placards to snag parking spaces.

Editor’s Note: Phil Paleologos is the morning talk show host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6am-10am. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.