Chicago Cracks Down on Abusers of Disabled Parking Permits

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Oct 9, 2012

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The city of Chicago has begun to take an aggressive stand against drivers who take advantage of a disabled-parking placard that either isn’t theirs or is in use when the handicapped person is not with them in the vehicle.  New punishments for the offense range from fines of $500 – $1,000, suspended driver’s licenses for 6 months to a year, and confiscation of the misused disabled-parking placard. Starting in January of 2013, drivers caught abusing the use of the placards could have their licenses revoked as penalties are set to increase.

The extent of the crackdown on abuse of the disabled parking system also effects those looking to qualify for the special permit. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has introduced legislation to make it more difficult to obtain a disabled-parking permit, and to limit the number of handicapped parking spaces allowed on one block.  Any person looking to purchase a disabled parking permit in the city of Chicago must demonstrate that they are disabled or live in the same residence as a disabled person. 

It seems like these measure have merit as driver complaints about misuse of parking permits have flooded city offices and forced government action.  Over the last six weeks the city has engaged in a sting operation that has resulted in 41 one permits confiscated and 47 citations issued.  That is one violation for every five cars checked, indicating that the crackdown is perhaps justified.   

With the Mayor and the city police force actively pursuing drivers who abuse disable permits, the issue that has sparked the public interest has gained enough traction to compel government enforcement.  As increased penalties for misuse of disabled parking permits loom, Chicago drivers expect to see the benefits pay off in the form of fewer abuses. 

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