Crackdown on Disability Parking Abuse

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Mary Cartwell has seen it all too often. People parking in handicapped spaces who don't have a placard and sometimes there's not a spot available for Mary who suffers with back pain and asthma.

"I think they should have respect for signs. It’s like any other traffic sign. They are there to be respected and obeyed. I'm always one to obey signs, so when people don't, I get frustrated," says Cartwell.

The police are cracking down on people abusing the disability parking program. Lieutenant Kirk Hooks and two other officers were patrolling the Cherryvale mall looking for violators.

"We see it everyday. The thing we're specifically looking for today, for the most part, is people inappropriately using the placards that are issued to family members or friends who many actually be disabled but not be with the people in the car," say Lt. Hooks.

Three citations were handed out during the sting operation, two for unlawful use of a handicap placard. One individual was using her mother's placard and another woman was using a placard issued to her dead sister.

"It's very frustrating because you have people who are disabled that often times can't get a spot close enough to go into the business," says Lt. Hooks.

Beginning in January, those violating the law could face a fine of up to $500 and if you're misusing placards issued to other people your license could be suspended for 12 months. So Lt. Hooks is warning us, even though parking spaces may be at premium never encroach on disabled parking areas.