Do you really own that disability placard displayed on your vehicle? Is it valid?
I hope so, because effective January 29, 2012, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department will be cracking down on disability placard abusers.
Now, if you are caught displaying a disability placard that does not belong to you on your car or if you are misusing your placard, you could be facing some serious consequences. Under the new ordinance recently passed in mid-December, 2011, you could be paying an increase in fines or even have your vehicle impounded.
You are considered a violator if you display a false, stolen, or altered disability placard. This could get you a fine anywhere from $500 to $1000. Boy, that’s a hefty amount! Owners of vehicles possessing an invalid disability placard can be facing a $200 fine. Either way, both violations can cause you to end up getting your car towed and impounded. If that happens, start watching the numbers add up– how does $1500 to $3000, plus towing and storage charges sound?
The city had no choice but to take a tough stance on these type of violations. Current fines don’t seem to prevent the practice. Add to this the ease and availability of obtaining these disability placards online. Violators are also bad for local businesses. Vehicles with fraudulent placards that sit for hours in front of a business prevent customers (and actual disabled Chi-Town citizens) from being able to park.
To view this new city ordinance, go here. Got questions? Ask Ald. Brendan Reilly of the 42nd Ward. Just visit here.
Let’s keep our city flowing smoothly and leave the parking for the disabled available for those who truly need it!