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Violators in handicap parking

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American Government

Violators in handicap parking

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
May 22, 2012

A little-known section of the Illinois Vehicle Code (IVC) allows a police chief to authorize volunteer citizens to ticket violators in handicap parking spaces. Did you know that?

Thanks to a knowledgeable reader of this blog, this section of the IVC (625 ILCS 5/11-1301.7) has come to light. Want to read it? Go to www.ilga.gov Does any police chief in McHenry County allow this?

How many times have you seen an able-bodied driver pull into a handicap space and run into a store "just for a minute"? Say, over at the Jewel-Osco in Woodstock? How many times a week does this happen?

Handicap spaces are for handicapped drivers, and they must display the proper placard or license plate on the vehicle. Having it on the sun visor or in the glove compartment or under a magazine on the car seat doesn't qualify. A placard needs to be hanging from the mirror. A cop would probably pass up writing a ticket if the placard is on the dashboard.

The driver needs to know the rules for parking in the handicap spot. If a driver drops off the handicapped person at the entrance to the building, then the driver is not entitled to park in a handicap space. But they do. Instead, they should leave that space for the driver who is handicapped.

If you are a resident who wants to be a volunteer to write some $250 tickets (all of which goes to the municipality (or the County)), contact Chief Lowen (Woodstock PD), Chief Linder (Crystal Lake) or Sheriff Nygren (McHenry County) or the chief of your town's PD and ask about training and authorization. (In Algonquin and some other places, the fine is $500.)

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