For the past couple of weeks, Chicago police have been cracking down on people who are illegally parking in handicap spaces. I say it’s about time. I see people ignoring this law all the time. At my gym, I saw a guy park in the handicap space then run in and out of the gym. I’m amazed at the arrogance of some people.
Drivers ignore marked parking spaces for their own convenience, not realizing the greater inconvenience they might be causing someone who truly needs that space. Another common violation is using a fake handicap tag (or someone else’s tag), especially because cars with handicap tags are allowed to park for free at parking meters. It’s just plain lazy, not to mention selfish.
You will be ticketed and fined not only for parking where you aren’t supposed to, but for using someone else’s handicap tag or for using a counterfeit tag. The crackdown started downtown, and police say they will continue to check more cars, both downtown and throughout the city.
According to a news article, the fines can be as high as $1,000 for unauthorized use of a handicap placard in your car. Those who use fraudulent placards or license plates can face even higher costs. Police have been given the authority to impound those vehicles, which can cost a vehicle owner up to $3,000. If you let someone else use your tag, you could face fines, as well.
Hopefully, this will deter people from abusing handicap parking spots. At the very least, it will punish those who ignore the law. If it were up to me, I’d make the fines even higher.
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