Category Archives: Handicapped Parking
Now they’re for it.
Getting rid of the privilege of parking for free at parking meters for most disabled drivers that is.
Originally, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel were against a bill proposed by Illinois State Rep. Karen May (D-Highland Park), which would end free parking for most disabled drivers. For whatever reason White and Emanuel have had a change of heart according to the Sun-Times.
Perhaps for Emanuel at least, it was the $13 million bill that Chicago Parking Meters, LLC had sent City Hall due to the inordinate amount of people using handicap plates and disabled parking placards parking for free all day long at metered parking places.
Only Few Exceptions Will Still Be Allowed To Park Free
Illinois State Rep. Karen May (D-Highland Park) has introduced legislation to take away the free parking meter privileges for all but a minority of drivers with handicap license plates or disabled parking placards according to report in the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Illinois Secretary of State will issue a special free parking sticker to disabled drivers only after qualifying in at least one of four very strict and specific ways through doctor’s verification according to the proposed legislation.
Yes, this is a painfully obvious rhetorical question.
But after all sorts of TV, radio and newspaper news stories about the City of Chicago and the Secretary of State cracking down on drivers abusing handicapped parking privileges and parking for free at metered parking spots, some drivers still haven’t gotten the message.
Law enforcement was out in full force last Wednesday when 21 officers inspected 54 cars using disabled placards or handicapped plates and ticketed 10 with potential fines of $500 or $1000, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the Sun-Times story is the reporter poses the question about the viability of allowing handicapped drivers to continue to park for free at parking meters. How expensive will it become to enforce these laws if you need an army of cops enforcing the law? Perhaps it is smarter to just get rid of free metered parking for the disabled altogether.
Illinois State Representative Karen May (D-Highland Park) is proposing that this freebie for the handicapped goes away for all but the most truly disabled.
Jesse White is not fooling around.
Especially when it comes to handicap parking abuse.
The Illinois Secretary of State announced his wish to see harsher penalties for drivers who abuse disabled parking placards or handicap license plates to park for free at metered parking spaces or in designated handicap parking spots before convening his Advisory Committee on Traffic Safety Thursday morning at the State of Illinois building.
White is asking to create a new offense for the general misuse of a plate or placard a Class A Misdemeanor which would carry a minimum one-year suspension of the offender’s driver’s license and a $2500 fine. This offense and penalty would be in addition to even harsher penalties for general misuse of a disability placard or license plate.
The Chicago Sun-Times began investigating the rampant abuse of disabled parking placards and handicap license plates to park for free at metered parking spots in September.
After the paper began asking the city questions about the subject, for some reason, (coincidence we’re sure), the number of tickets for using a stolen, fraudulent or improperly used disabled parking placard or disability plates went through the roof according to reports obtained by the newspaper.
View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.
A joint enforcement effort between Secretary of State Police and Chicago Police put many police officers on the ground at five separate locations around downtown Chicago Thursday looking for abuse of disabled parking laws according to the NBC Chicago website.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Emanuel had some strong words about the subject.
“I just don’t write blank checks to companies that say that’s what we owe. I’m gonna be the taxpayer watchdog,” the mayor said Tuesday. “Now, they may say that’s what we owe. But, just because they submit it doesn’t mean that’s what we’re gonna pay. We’re contesting that right now in a series of discussions with the company.”
Here’s the Sun-Times story.
Original post below.
That’s the message Mayor Rahm Emanuel is trying to convey to drivers who feel compelled to misuse disabled parking placards or handicap plates to park for free on metered streets.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the proposal cruised through the City Council Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Monday and looks like it will be voted on by the full City Council at Wednesday’s meeting.
The proposed change in the law would hand down fines between $1500 and $3000 for drivers flouting the law. Furthermore, the driver’s vehicle would be immediately towed and impounded to the tune of an additional $150.
Emanuel’s plan had the support of Secretary of State Jesse White who has his own major changes planned for the state law that controls handicap parking abuse.
It seems both Emanuel’s and White’s push for more stringent laws on disabled parking abuse is the direct result of a week long series on the subject by the Chicago Sun-Times last month which caught myriads of drivers involved in this type of abuse.
While shoppers were invading malls all over the state last weekend, Secretary of State Police were making their rounds of malls as well.
But the police weren’t looking for bargains. Instead, they were patrolling mall parking lots looking for scofflaws who abuse handicap parking privileges by illegally parking in spots designated for the handicapped or misusing a disabled parking placard.
Secretary of State Jesse White’s enforcement teams wrote 31 citations from shopping destinations all over the state including Rockford, Springfield, Marion, Bolingbrook, Lombard, Orland Park, Skokie, Carbondale, Peoria, Champaign and even Schaumburg’s Woodfield Mall in this neck of the woods.
White announced Tuesday that Secretary of State Police will be patrolling Woodfield Mall on the day after Thanksgiving to target scofflaws who use disabled parking placards or handicap license plates to park illegally in designated handicap parking spots.
Similar enforcement stings will be happening simultaneously statewide at malls in Rockford, Springfield and Marion.
“Our mission is not to give tickets, but to ensure the parking spaces are available to those who need them,” White said. “My message today is simple-if you don’t belong there-don’t park there.”
While White’s office conducted a similar enforcement program last year on Black Friday, this year’s clampdown comes on the heels of a Sun-Times expose’ that showed the immense volume of motorists using stolen or borrowed disabled parking placards to avoid having to pay for metered street parking.