SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Secretary of State’s office has begun stepped-up enforcement during the holiday season of parking spaces reserved for people with disabilities.
Secretary of State police conducted sting operations at shopping malls in Schaumburg, Springfield and Fairview Heights on Friday and will aggressively enforce the law statewide in the coming weeks.
Democratic Secretary of State Jesse White is in his 14th year of administering the program which begins with the Thanksgiving holiday weekend operations.
People can report violations by calling the secretary of state’s office or by filing a report online.
White said his intent is not to increase the number of tickets issued but to keep the spots open for those who need them.
“Parking illegally in a space reserved for people with disabilities means a possible driver’s license suspension and a hefty fine,” White said. “If you don’t belong there, don’t park there.”
Disabled parking is available to those who have received an official placard from White’s office. Misuse could result in a driver’s license suspension of six months and a $600 fine. Repeat offenders face heftier penalties. Fraudulently using the placard of a dead person could mean a $2,500 fine and a year’s license suspension.
Currently, there are 530,498 motorists in Illinois with disability placards.