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Handicapped parking cheats will face stiffer penalties in Mass.

Handicapped Parking Placards
A stack of handicapped parking placards collected at the office of the Inspector General, after they were taken from motorists found to be abusing the permits. –Josh Reynolds for the Boston Globe/File

Governor Charlie Baker has signed a bill that would increase penalties for people who misuse disability parking credentials.

The bill, which also increases the authority of the Registry of Motor Vehicles to investigate fraudulent applications for handicapped placards, passed 37-0 in the state Senate in October after a 2016 report from the state inspector general found people were misusing placards in every Boston neighborhood that was surveilled.

“The use of disability parking placards should be reserved for our most vulnerable residents,’’ Baker said in a statement.

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