For holiday shoppers illegally parking in disability accessible spaces to get a jump on those Black Friday deals, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is sending his office's police squad on an enforcement crackdown during the biggest shopping day of the year.
The Secretary of State Police will be out enforcing the state's Parking Program for Persons with Disabilities at malls in Marion, Rockford, Schaumburg and Springfield, according to a press release from White's office. There will also be enforcement efforts in Chicago and other cities across the state later in the holiday shopping season.
Illinois has issued more than 577,030 placards and approximately 82,050 disability license plates, according to White's office. The fine for using a placard or a license plate without the authorized holder present is a maximum of $500. Violators can also be subject to a 30-day suspension of their driver's license for their first offense. The fine for parking in a disability accessible parking space without a placard or a license plate is up to $350.
Earlier this month, the Illinois state legislature established the Safe Driver Advisory Council at White's request, according to the release. White is the chair, joined by representatives from each of the four legislative caucuses, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the National Safety Council and the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety.
White plans to ask the council at its meeting in January to consider increased fines and longer suspensions for violators of the state laws related to disability accessible parking, according to the release. He has also proposed a $2,500 fine for the use of a placard of a deceased person.