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Could It Happen Here?

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American Government

Could It Happen Here?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
May 12, 2008

Handicap Parking $500 Fine Sign

Take a look at this sign. Take a good look. Notice how it's a lot different than the handicap parking signs in Woodstock.

This sign, posted in front of the Jewel-Osco in Algonquin, reflects how serious Algonquin is about the handicap parking laws. Violate this handicap parking zone and be ready to part with $500, and maybe court costs on top of that! You'd certainly think more than twice about parking there "just for a minute" to run in for that pizza, loaf of bread or bottle of wine; right?

The fine for violations in Woodstock is $250, although there are still some $100 signs around town. The fine print in the law says that, regardless of the (old) sign, the fine is $250. The handicap parking space is for those who are handicapped. It's for those drivers who are handicapped.

If you drive your handicapped friend to the store, drop him or her off at the curb and then pull into the handicap parking space, you are violating the law. You, the driver, are not handicapped, so you are not entitled to park there. Take a regular parking space and leave the handicap space for the handicapped driver.

Isn't it strange how it's different, if you and your passenger park in the handicap space, and then you both walk from the parking space to the store. That's okay.

The size of the fine indicates how serious this violation is in the eyes of the State of Illinois. Let's hope that the police monitor handicap parking spaces and take a moment to verify that the car parked there is entitled to be there. And, if it's not? Write the ticket.


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