Online Staff Report
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White (D) has announced the Secretary of State Police will conduct statewide parking stings targeting people illegally parking in spaces reserved for people with disabilities at shopping malls beginning Black Friday, Nov. 28.
Secretary of State Police will be enforcing the provisions of the Parking Program for Persons with Disabilities at downtown shopping areas in Chicago, Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Oakbrook Center in Oak Brook, as well as malls in Champaign, Peoria, Fairview Heights, Marion, Moline, Rockford and Springfield on Nov. 28, the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season and the busiest shopping day of the year. Other enforcements will take place during the holiday season in Chicago, the suburbs and across the state.
“Our mission is not to issue tickets, but to ensure that accessible parking spaces are available to those who need them,” White said. “Parking illegally in a space reserved for people with disabilities means a possible driver’s license suspension and a hefty fine which could otherwise be used on gifts. Remember, if you don’t belong there, don’t park there.”
Last year, more than 90 citations were issued to those violating the Parking Program for Persons with Disabilities. Drivers caught misusing a placard face a six-month driver’s license suspension and $600 fine. Repeat violators will face a one-year driver’s license suspension and $1,000 fine for a second offense, and for the third or subsequent offenses they face a $1,000 fine plus a one-year driver’s license revocation. The fine for parking in an accessible parking space without a disability placard or license plates is up to $350. Using a deceased person’s placard or a fraudulent placard can result in a $2,500 fine and one-year revocation of the driver’s license.
There are 691,858 disability placards and 76,046 disability license plates in Illinois.
Secretary White urged people to report abuse of parking spaces for people with disabilities 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.
Posted Nov. 25, 2014