Online Staff Report
The Secretary of State Police issued 187 citations during a statewide crackdown on people who illegally park in disability parking spaces at local malls. The enforcement kicked off on Black Friday, Nov. 25, and continued through the end of December.
Sixty-five people were issued tickets for improper use of a disability parking space or parking in a disability space without a placard or license plate during the holiday season. One hundred-and-twenty-two people were cited with misuse of a disability parking placard, or using someone else’s placard. One hundred-and-sixteen placards were confiscated and a total of 5,696 placards were checked.
Secretary of State Police were enforcing the provisions of the Parking Program for Persons with Disabilities at 183 malls and stores statewide including the Chicago area, Rockford, Springfield, Carbondale, Marion, Peoria and Champaign.
“I’m pleased with the results of the disability parking enforcement efforts,” said White. “As I’ve said before, our mission is not to give tickets, but to ensure the disability parking spaces are available to those who need them. Remember — if you don’t belong there — don’t park there.”
White is preparing to meet with his Advisory Committee on Traffic Safety to improve road safety in Illinois, save lives and consider increased penalties for those who disregard traffic laws. The committee will consider White’s recommendations to improve the state’s disability placard program by targeting fraud and abuse with strengthened penalties.
The fine for illegally using a placard or disability license plates without the authorized holder of the placard or disability license plates present is a maximum of $500. In addition, violators can be subject to a 30-day administrative driver’s license suspension from the Secretary of State for the first offense. The fine for parking in an accessible parking space without a parking placard or disability license plates can be as much as $350.
White urged people to report abuse of accessible parking spaces by calling (217) 785-0309. Callers should be prepared to report placard and license plate numbers as well as locations of vehicles. People can also report abuse via the Secretary of State’s website at www.cyberdriveillinois.com and complete the Parking Program for Persons with Disabilities Abuse Complaint Form.
More than 577,030 placards and approximately 82,050 disability license plates have been issued throughout Illinois.