Another way to punish people who improperly use handicap parking spaces is coming in the New Year. A new law will make it a misdemeanor to use a handicap parking placard registered to someone who has died. Before, this fell under the act of general misuse of the permit.
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The new law, effective Jan. 1, carries a penalty of a year’s license suspension and a $2,500 fine. The bottom line: if you don’t belong there, don’t park there. “Sometimes people don’t think that a disabled person will also have small children with them,” says Henry Haupt, a spokesman for the Illinois secretary of state’s office. “The last thing they also need to worry about is navigating their wheelchair with their small children a long distance in a parking lot.”
Haupt says a recent statewide handicap parking sting – between Thanksgiving and Christmas – racked up 263 citations out of almost 8,000 vehicles inspected.