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Thread: Case after case, people are spotted using others’ handicap-parking placards

  1. #1
    Senior Member darty's Avatar
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    Case after case, people are spotted using others’ handicap-parking placards

    Case after case, people are spotted using others’ handicap-parking placards

    Case after case, people are spotted using others’ handicap-parking placards

    By CHRIS FUSCO

    Staff Reporter / cfusco@suntimes.com
    Last Modified: Nov 15, 2011 02:12AM

    A handicap-parking placard issued to a woman from Galena ends up inside the car of a Chicago man, who uses it to park for free at a metered spot.

    Last May, a Gold Coast woman dies at the age of 92. Four months later, her handicap-parking placard is spotted in a car registered to couple from Little Village.

    A 73-year-old woman has her placard confiscated by the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office because a relative had been ticketed for using it illegally. The same woman gets a new placard — and, again, somebody other than herself is illegally spotted using it, this time in September.

    These are among 82 cases in which the Chicago Sun-Times documented seemingly able-bodied people using handicap placards or handicap license plates to park throughout the South Loop, around the Cook County Criminal Courthouse at 26th and California and at other spots in Chicago.

    In September and October, the newspaper worked with retired Chicago Police Lt. Robert Angone — whose 19-year-old daughter lost her left leg to cancer when she was 6 months old — to document the growing number of people using handicap placards and plates to park for free as parking-meter rates in Chicago have been rising.

    Illinois law long has allowed disabled people to park all day for free in metered spots, and — with one handicap placard in circulation for every 13 passenger vehicles throughout Cook County — the system is rife with abuse, the Sun-Times investigation found.

    Angone and the newspaper observed dozens of cases in which seemingly able-bodied people used placards or plates to park for free on the street, where they otherwise would have to use a kiosk to pay to park. Also, in a handful of cases, Angone documented drivers using placards to park at handicap-only spots in parking lots.

    Several of those cases — including one in which a woman was parking for free using a stolen placard — were highlighted Sunday and Monday in the Sun-Times. Those cases represent a fraction of the way the placards are being used to cheat meters. Here are some other examples. In each case, the parties involved either didn’t want to talk with a reporter or couldn’t be reached for comment:

    *Aug. 30, 2 p.m. — A man who appears to be in his 50s uses a placard that belongs to a 48-year-old woman to park in a handicap-only spot at Southgate Market in the South Loop. After parking, the man is observed working out at an LA Fitness center.

    *Sept. 9, 2011: 10:35 a.m. — A man who appears to be in his mid-30s parks for free in a metered spot in the 1100 block of South Jefferson Street using a placard registered to a 66-year-old woman from Hillside.

    *Sept. 14, 8:40 a.m. — A woman who appears to be in her 40s parks an Infiniti Q45 along Jefferson Street near Vernon Park Place and doesn’t feed the $3-per-hour meter box. The handicap placard she posts is registered to a 73-year-old woman who has the same last name as the person to whom the Infiniti is registered.

    But the older woman to whom the placard is registered isn’t present — which makes it illegal to use the tag to park for free.

    Secretary of State’s Office records show that another placard that once belonged to the same 73-year-old woman had been confiscated because a relative had been using it. The 73-year-old has since gotten a new placard — so that appears to be what’s happened again.

    *Sept. 16, 4 p.m. — A man who looks to be in his late 20s parks a Ford Escort station wagon in a handicap-only spot in a free lot at the Showplace Icon movie theaters at 150 W. Roosevelt Rd. Because he takes the spot, someone else who is obviously disabled drives past and is forced to park “about 75 yards away,” Angone observes.

    The placard in the man’s car is registered to Florence Chill, a Gold Coast woman who died in May at age 92, records show. She doesn’t appear to be related to the driver of the Ford, which is registered to a couple in Little Village.

    *Oct. 6, 8:55 a.m. — A man who appears to be in his late 50s parks his black Nissan in a metered spot in the 2700 block of South California, near the Cook County Criminal Courthouse. But the placard he displays in the car is registered to a 59-year-old woman from Galena.

    *Oct. 6, 9 a.m. — A man who appears to be in his 30s parks for free in a metered spot in the 2600 block of California using a placard that belongs to a 68-year-old Chicago woman. He then walks to the Criminal Courts building.
    ^^(A)^^

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    smashams

    Are you saying that if my AB wife parks in an HC slot displays a valid placard and I sit in our van while she goes into a store, that's a perfectly legal happening?
    You C.A.N.
    Conquer Adversity Now

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by wazabiker View Post
    Are you saying that if my AB wife parks in an HC slot displays a valid placard and I sit in our van while she goes into a store, that's a perfectly legal happening?
    It is probably legal (although it is beyond me why the person with the disability needs a handicapped parking space if he or she is just going to sit in the vehicle), but not ethically acceptable and a real irritation to those who really need the handicapped parking accommodation.

    All the best,
    GJ

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by wazabiker View Post
    Are you saying that if my AB wife parks in an HC slot displays a valid placard and I sit in our van while she goes into a store, that's a perfectly legal happening?
    Yup this is perfectly legal I see it all the time, I think the general rule depending on where you are from is that the placard owner just has to be with the placard to park in the HC spot.(So dead placard owner in the passenger seat would be fine)

    I think they should all have a nice 5x5 photo of the placard user on the placard that would help cut down on some abuse

    I also feel that I should be allowed to give out tickets to people that park in HC spots illegally, its not worth my time to call parking control as the abuser is most likely gone by the time they show up

  5. #5
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smashms View Post
    thats all good but if that person who the placard is registered to is in the car then it is legal, and the placards are issued to more that physical disabilities don't forget.
    If you read the examples its clear that the person who owns the placard is not present. The names and ages of the placard owners do not match up to the car owners or individuals exiting the cars.

    This stuff makes me sick. Its so irritating when you need to go somewhere and all the disabled spots are taken. Sometimes I have to sit in my car and wait, or sometimes I just give up and go home because its more than I can handle that day.

    I had my placard stolen from my car while I was in the EMERGENCY ROOM. How fricken low is that, stealing a HC placard from a hospital parking lot. I had the front windows 1/4 down because it was super hot, and when I was discharged the placard was no longer hanging from my rear view mirror.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

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  6. #6
    I want to give tickets also. I see it all the time. I also want to find these Doctors that are giving placards away like Halloween candy.

  7. #7
    I see 99 abled bodied people for every one physically handicapped person in handicapped spots, and that is being generous. I will never accept that those 99 people have non physical handicaps. Most are abusive to our laws and inconsiderate to those that require the spot as a necessity. The abuse is enfuriating and we have taken too long to act.
    T6 complete (or so I think), SCI since September 21, 2003

  8. #8

    Know the law.

    Quote Originally Posted by darty View Post
    Case after case, people are spotted using others’ handicap-parking placards. ... snip ...
    Out of all the places I've been in the United States of America I only saw one city check the placard with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. That is Avon, Ohio at Avon Common shopping plaza which is huge.

    As the Lorain police dispatcher told me once, "Sir. It's only a parking spot!"

    Every jurisdiction has a different law that regulates handicap parking. Most jurisdictions is a two hour parking limit but it is not enforced. Also you can do just about anything in that spot when you have a placard. You can park and your wife and get out and shop. You don't even need to leave your vehicle.

    You need to know what the law is. I learned that early this year in University Heights, Ohio.



    Ti
    "We must overcome difficulties rather than being overcome by difficulties."

  9. #9
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    that 'only a parking spot' attitude makes me sick. I guess it only is until you really need the space. Iv had to turn around and go home before because I couldn't park.

    I really hate around the holidays. I had to run to walmart, no hp spaces. Drove around until I got one halfway up the lane. Got inside, no motorized carts. I messed up my body using a cart like a walker, and every scooter cart I passed was occupied by someone obese... I'm sure some of them were disabled as well even gaining weight from their disability, but I know that's not the case with every one. I also saw a woman STILL waiting for a motorized cart (she was on crutches and I saw her enter the store alone) on my way out the doors.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by wazabiker View Post
    Are you saying that if my AB wife parks in an HC slot displays a valid placard and I sit in our van while she goes into a store, that's a perfectly legal happening?
    Illegal happening, unless you are getting or plan on getting out of the car.
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