Tag Archives: Handicapped Parking
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.
One in every 13 vehicles in Cook County utilize a handicap parking placard according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
This is just one of the many eye brow raising statistics the second part of the Sun-Times’ series on the abuse of placards used by disabled drivers.
A team of investigators led by reporter Chris Fusco surveyed the area in the South Loop bounded by Roosevelt, Van Buren, Desplaines and Canal and found as many as 60 cars using disabled placards parking for free at metered spots.
The article also reveals that nearly 600,000 handicap placards have been issued statewide with 204,787 or 34% of the state total, being utilized just in Cook County.
Since Chicago signed the parking meter lease deal in late 2008, and parking meter rates have skyrocketed in the subsequent years, the number of drivers illegally using handicapped placards to park for free has risen substantially according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Sun-Times investigative reporter Chris Fusco seems to have spent a long time, working with a retired police officer to stake out potential handicapped placard scofflaws as the story and video document 82 cases of abuse and catch several motorists red handed.
Tamley, the commissioner for the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities suggested this idea to the city council during budget hearings as a way to crack down on drivers who abuse disabled parking placards to get free metered parking, park in handicapped spaces or park in designated residential handicapped spots according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Tamley proposed fines for drivers caught abusing handicapped parking privileges to exceed $1000 when all fines, towing fees, etc. get totaled.
In addition, she says she working to tighten handicapped parking rules at all levels, which were positively received by aldermen says the Sun-Times.
Local celebrities, politicians, wealthy people all work out at the East Bank Club.
President Obama is a member there and so is Oprah.
The East Bank Club is perhaps Chicago’s most prestigious athletic club.
Its a pretty expensive membership, so it’s pretty surprising that some drivers were caught illegally hanging handicapped placards from their rearview mirror before entering the East Bank Club just to avoid feeding the meter.
Bono and his entourage of several dozen tour buses, semi-trailer trucks and a crane have been sitting in handicapped parking spots in a parking lot outside the Field Museum before last night’s U2 concert at Solider Field according to ABC 7 News.
Where are city Parking Enforcement Aides when you need them?!?
Here’s the full story and video from ABC 7, “U2 crews take up handicapped parking.”
If you park at the Whole Foods parking lot on Canal Street just south of downtown, don’t leave the store or your car will be towed–even if you’re parked in a handicapped spot with a legit disabled placard.
It just happens that a humongous blizzard had dumped some crazy amount of snow on the ground and the Ultra Foods parking lot in Calumet Park wasn’t plowed very well.
So, this disabled women inadvertently parked her van on the line of a handicapped space.
But despite the blizzard, despite the giant piles of snow, despite the fact that you couldn’t make out the lines on the pavement due to all the damn snow, a Calumet Park cop gave Susan Willis a ticket for parking in a handicapped spot.
Last Friday, aka “Black Friday”, Secretary of State Jesse White kicked off an enforcement initiative for handicapped parking abuse at shopping malls around the state.
Secretary of State police after checking over 500 driver’s licenses and handicapped placards, cited 43 drivers for violating the state’s handicapped parking program and confiscated 14 placards.
“Although we issued numerous tickets, our main goal was to make sure those parking spaces were
available for those people who truly need them,” White said via press release. “We will continue to conduct these enforcements with the hopes that people won’t park where they don’t belong.”
Drivers using a handicapped placard or disability license plates without the authorized holder in the vehicle, could be fined as much as $500. They could also get their driver’s license suspended temporarily for 30 days–just for the first offense.
But if a motorist parks in a handicapped parking spot without a parking placard or disability license plate, they can be fined as much as $350.
Secretary Of State Police Will Be Out At Malls Statewide
Unless you’re legally entitled to, don’t even think about pulling your car into a handicapped spot, just because the rest of the parking lot is full.
Because Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White will be watching.
White is coordinating an enforcement effort at shopping malls all over the state to focus extra scrutiny on handicapped accessible scofflaws.