Mayor Emanuel Introduces Ordinance to Eliminate Fraudulent Use of Disability Placards
Ordinance would benefit motorists with disabilities, increase fines for parking scofflaws
Mayor Rahm Emanuel today proposed an ordinance aimed at deterring fraudulent abuse of disability placards by motorists in Chicago.
“The abuse of the disability placards has gone on for far too long,” said Mayor Emanuel. “These reforms are about preserving legal on-street parking for motorists with disabilities and this ordinance sends a clear message that abuse of placards will not be tolerated in the city of Chicago.”
Under the proposed ordinance, the City would increase fines and authorize the Chicago Police Department to impound vehicles as an additional penalty for using fraudulent placards or misusing a placard of an authorized user.
Specifically, the ordinance would:
- Penalize violators who display a false, stolen or altered disability placard would be subject to fines from $500- $1,000; and
- The owner of any vehicle that violates the proper and legal use of a disability placard would be subject to a $200 fine.
Additionally, motorists found to be fraudulently using disability placards would be subject to immediate impoundment and a penalty of $2,000 and incur associated towing and storage costs.
“The availability of accessible parking has long been a serious issue for the disability community,” said Commissioner Karen Tamley, of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. “Whether it’s a space on the street at metered parking or in parking lots with spaces designated for people with disabilities, the frequency of abuse prevents people with disabilities from being able to park within close proximity of their destination.”
As the current levels of abuse indicate, the fines currently in place are not a deterrent.
In recent years, the problem has become worse due to the availability of fraudulent and altered parking placards for purchase over the Internet.
The fraudulent use of placards also negatively impacts businesses. When individuals fraudulently use disabled parking placards all day, it reduces turnover and parking spot available to potential customers.
# # #