People who illegally use disability placards to park in free or convenient spaces could have their vehicles impounded and also be required to pay a fine of up to $3,000, under a plan endorsed Monday by a City Council committee.
The plan was proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and endorsed by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, who spoke in favor of it at the Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Committee meeting.
“This impoundment ordinance sends a strong message that abusing the parking program for persons with disabilities will not be tolerated,” White said. “Our message is, ‘If you don’t belong there, don’t park there.’”
Under the measure, expected to get a full council vote Wednesday, police could impound the cars of people who use “false, fraudulent, fictitious, stolen or altered disability” license plates or placards. People who illegally use another person’s valid disability plate or placard also could have their vehicles impounded.
State fines already in place for illegal use of placards range from $500 for a first offense to $1,000 for a third offense — and Emanuel’s new measure would match that same range. It also would impose a $200 fine on someone who allows their valid placard or plate to be used fraudulently.
White said he also has proposed a state law that would allow a 30-day driver’s license suspension for a first offense of illegally using a placard and a $2,500 fine for displaying a fake placard.
Meanwhile, Chicago and secretary of state police plan a crackdown Thursday on illegal parking in disabled spaces in the downtown area, White said. Fraudulent use of placards downtown is an issue, because people with placards don’t have to pay to park in metered spaces.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun