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Handicapped parking - more than a privilege

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Handicapped parking - more than a privilege

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
July 27, 2013

Saturn Ion
When I arrived at the County's Administration Building for the Ethics Commission hearing on Thursday, I noticed this car in the handicapped parking space - without display of a handicap placard or special license plate.

While I was taking the picture, the front desk security guard came out to ask what I was doing. "Taking a picture of this car illegally parked." I asked him to have the vehicle ticketed. Handicap parking violations in Illinois are serious business. Aren't they?

A few minutes later an announcement was made over the public address system, calling the owner to move the car. Interesting response. How is that the same as having the vehicle ticketed?

Quite quickly a woman walked out to the car and placed a handicap placard on display. Was she a County employee? Or a visitor? Whichever, the P.A. announcement saved her between $250-500.

As I thought about this today, I wondered if she herself was the disabled driver for whom the placard was issued.

Or is it possible that she frequently drives a person with a disability or that the vehicle is owned by a person with a disability? The rules are clear and specific about who is entitled to drive the car into a handicap parking space and park it there.

Does the contract front-desk security officer provide the same courtesy for all drivers who park in the handicap parking without displaying authorization? If a Woodstock Police officer had driven through the parking lot, would he have just written the ticket? Or would he have gone inside to have the errant driver paged?

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