CRIME

Jesse White’s Statewide Enforcement for Shoppers Abusing Accessible Parking Spaces

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Secretary of State Jesse White’s statewide enforcement effort to crack down on people who illegally park in accessible parking spaces at local malls during the holiday weekend resulted in the issuance of 43 tickets.

The Secretary of State Police kicked off their first enforcement operation on Friday, Nov. 26, the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season and the busiest shopping day of the year. Enforcements will continue to take place throughout the state during the holiday season.

Secretary of State Police enforced the provisions of the Parking Program for Persons with Disabilities at Woodfield, Oak Brook, and Orland Park as well as at malls in Aurora, Bloomington, Carbondale, Effingham, Fairview Heights, Peoria, Peru, Rockford, and Springfield.  

Police checked more than 500 driver’s licenses and placards at those malls.  Of those checked, 43 tickets were issued for violating the program and 14 disability placards were confiscated.

“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.  “We will continue to conduct these enforcements with the hopes that people won’t park where they don’t belong.”

The fine for illegally using a placard or disability license plates without the authorized holder 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 $350.

Part of the month of November has been declared as Accessible Parking Awareness Month in Illinois.

Secretary 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.

There are over 443,000 placards and approximately 84,000 disability license plates in Illinois.