§1400.  Handicapped parking enforcement

A.  There is hereby established within the office of state police of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections a handicapped parking enforcement program.  The purpose of the program shall be training and utilizing volunteers in the enforcement of handicapped parking restrictions, particularly those established pursuant to R.S. 40:1742.  The office shall operate the program in the manner and subject to the limitations and provisions of this Section.

B.  The program shall become operative if and when funds are transferred to the office of state police from the office of disability affairs for such purpose.

C.  The program shall incorporate a training program, to be offered at each troop headquarters, incorporating matters relevant to volunteers recognizing and collecting evidence on violations of handicapped parking restrictions.  Such training shall include training in legal matters with respect to violations of handicapped parking restrictions and personal safety matters.  Volunteers shall be trained to identify violators and to collect information necessary to provide evidence of violation including vehicle identification information, all legal matters relevant to identifying a properly marked restricted parking area and a violation thereof, the collection of photographic information which would be sufficient to establish a presumption of a violation, and matters of personal safety and ethics.  The training course may be offered as often as the police troop deems necessary to serve potential volunteers who have requested enrollment in the course.

D.  Upon completion of such training, an individual volunteer who identifies an apparent violation of handicapped parking restrictions may collect information on such violation including vehicle identification information and photographs of the violation and may then submit such information to the appropriate office at the respective state police troop headquarters in accordance with procedures established for the program by the office of state police.

E.  Upon identification of the owner of the vehicle, the state police shall send by registered mail, return receipt requested, to said owner a citation for the parking violation.  Such citation shall include information on the submission of fines and how the individual may contest the citation.  Each troop of the state police may train and utilize volunteers in any aspect of the program which it deems appropriate and for which volunteers offer their services including clerical responsibilities associated with the processing of information relative to violations of handicapped parking restrictions and in the dissemination of citations.

F.  The office of state police shall establish and promulgate rules and regulations necessary for the operation of the program in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.  Such rules may include the establishment of a minimum number of participants who must enroll in the training course before such course is offered, criteria for successful completion of the course, certification of successful completion, procedures for identification of persons who have completed the course and who are thereby authorized to submit information relative to violations of handicapped parking restrictions, procedures for the submission and processing of such information, and any other matter which the office deems necessary or convenient for successful operation of the program.

G.  The office of state police may utilize funds to promote the program for the purpose of soliciting volunteers, for salaries of police personnel involved in the program, materials, and supplies necessary for operation of the program, and any other purpose authorized by the office of disability affairs.

H.  Neither the office of state police nor any troop or office thereof shall be liable for any injury to any volunteer participating in the program.  The office of state police may provide for a waiver to such effect to be signed by volunteers in the program.

I.  The office of state police shall annually submit a report to the office of disability affairs describing the activities of the program including number of volunteers trained, number of citations issued pursuant to the program, expenses incurred by the state police in the implementation of the program, and any other information required by the office of disability affairs.

Acts 1995, No. 812, §1.