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Could car here be ticketed?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Could car here be ticketed?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
May 21, 2012


Handicap Parking


Could a car parked in this handicap parking space be ticketed? Should it be?

This space, in the west parking lot of the McHenry County Government Center, has a worn-out handicap parking symbol on the pavement. There is no handicap parking sign behind the space. Compare the paint on the lane lines with the parking symbol. It would appear that the space used to be a handicap parking space.

You can see a sign on a post in this picture. (Click on the image to enlarge it; then click on the Back button on your browser to come back here.) Note that it is adjacent to the handicap parking space to the east. The post could actually be placed in the grass island directly behind the parking space.

Should pavement markings be prominent enough to be easily visible to a driver about to pull in? If they are faded and worn out, are they enforceable?

Is a sign required for the space to be enforced for handicap-only parking?

The problem?

If you get a $250 ticket and wish to fight it, then you are looking at legal fees. How much? Whether you win or lose in court, a lawyer will probably charge you $250 to defend you. If you win, then you are out the $250 for the lawyer.

If you lose, then you are looking at legal fees AND court costs, pushing the cost of that $250 ticket to well over $500. So, what would most drivers do if ticketed? They'd gripe loud and long, and then cough up the $250.

Would that be fair?

Drivers are entitled to fair warning regarding handicap parking spaces. This means adequate signing, both on the ground and on a sign. Can one sign serve two spaces? Possibly, with appropriate arrows pointing to both spaces.

It's the Woodstock Police who would enforce violations. Would they ticket a car in this space that did not display a handicap placard or license plate?

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