ILLINOIS -- Secretary of State Jesse White has announced that Secretary of State Police will conduct statewide parking stings targeting individuals illegally parking in spaces reserved for persons with disabilities at shopping malls beginning on Black Friday.
Secretary of State Police will enforce the provisions of the Parking Program for Persons with Disabilities at shopping centers in Aurora, Bloomington, Carbondale, Chicago, Fairview Heights, Oak Brook, Orland Park, Peoria, Rockford, Schaumburg and Springfield today.
Black Friday marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season and one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Other enforcements will take place during the holiday season in Chicago, the suburbs and throughout the state.
"Our mission is not to issue tickets, but to ensure that accessible parking spaces are available to those who need them," White said. "Parking illegally in a space reserved for people with disabilities means a possible driver's license suspension and a hefty fine, money which could otherwise be used on gifts. Remember, if you don't belong there, don't park there."
Drivers caught misusing a placard face a six-month driver's license suspension and a $600 fine. Repeat violators will face a one-year driver's license suspension and a $750 fine for a second offense; for third or subsequent offenses, violators will face a $1,000 fine plus a one-year driver's license revocation.
The fine for parking in an accessible parking space without a disability placard or disability license plates can be up to $350.
Using a deceased person's placard or a fraudulent placard can result in a $2,500 fine and one-year revocation of a driver's license.
Currently, there are 550,073 permanent placards; 34,585 meter-exempt placards; 59,818 disability plates; and 6,800 disabled veteran plates registered in Illinois. White urges individuals to report abuse of parking spaces for people with disabilities by calling (217) 785-0309. Callers should be prepared to report placard and license plate numbers, as well as the location 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.