Illinois State Police enforce handicap parking laws

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- It's the busy shopping season and we know you might be tempted to park where you shouldn't. But beware Illinois Secretary of State Police are on the prowl to make sure you park where you belong.

Secretary of state Police will crack down on drivers who park in spots designated for people with handicaps. Their message is quite simple.

“If you don't belong there don't park there those spots are there specifically for people who have the needs to be closer to the building," Sgt. Daniel Bonneville from the Illinois Secretary of State Police said.

Not only is it breaking the law it's also extremely irritating to those who need it. State police spent Black Friday at malls across the state and will monitor lots throughout the holiday season. It's a program they've done for years.

“I have a mother who has a placard in Wisconsin and if she had to park on the other side of the parking lot she wouldn't make it into the mall,” Sgt. Bonneville said. “She can't walk that far so it's important that these spot are available for the people who need them.”

Some community members say drivers should be more considerate.

"You can't always judge by outward appearance I know some people look at me before I unload my daughter as a very able bodied person but having a special needs daughter who does have complications if she does get too cold it allows me to do the everyday errands that sometimes need to be done,” Beth McNeill, a community member who has a handicap placard said.

Illinois Secretary State Police are not the only ones that enforce these laws. Local officers also penalize drivers with fines up to $350 dollars.