Handicapped Parking Pass Abusers Facing Tougher Fines Under House Bill
The legislation follows an investigation that showed the use of handicapped parking placards by those who aren't disabled has increased in recent years.
A bill that would increase penalties for falsely using a handicapped parking pass is headed to the Governor's desk.
The fines for anyone caught using a disability license plate or decal that isn't issued to them will increase to $600 for first time offenders, under House Bill 5624. Repeat offenders will see fines of $750 for a second offense and $1000 for a third.
“We need to stop the fraud that is taking place with handicapped parking placards,” said State Sen. Maggie Crotty (D-Oak Forest).
“This measure will not only increase penalties, it also acts as a deterrent for those who are providing false information that allows them to receive a parking permit," Crotty said.
This bill also puts forth a new, two-tiered system for disabled parking. Beginning in 2014, those physically unable to feed meters will be exempt from paying for metered spots. These drivers will receive new placards displaying the free-parking status, after the Secretary of State reviews paperwork signed by a doctor.
Other disabled-parking pass and plate holders will be able to park in handicapped-only spots but will not have the free-parking passes.
An investigation into those who used handicapped parking passes found rampant abuse by those who were not disabled, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.