Skip to comments.Case after case, people are spotted using others’ handicap-parking placards
Posted on 11/15/2011 5:33:22 AM PST by Graybeard58
A handicap-parking placard issued to a woman from Galena ends up inside the car of a Chicago man, who uses it to park for free at a metered spot.
Last May, a Gold Coast woman dies at the age of 92. Four months later, her handicap-parking placard is spotted in a car registered to couple from Little Village.
A 73-year-old woman has her placard confiscated by the Illinois Secretary of States Office because a relative had been ticketed for using it illegally. The same woman gets a new placard and, again, somebody other than herself is illegally spotted using it, this time in September.
These are among 82 cases in which the Chicago Sun-Times documented seemingly able-bodied people using handicap placards or handicap license plates to park throughout the South Loop, around the Cook County Criminal Courthouse at 26th and California and at other spots in Chicago.
In September and October, the newspaper worked with retired Chicago Police Lt. Robert Angone whose 19-year-old daughter lost her left leg to cancer when she was 6 months old to document the growing number of people using handicap placards and plates to park for free as parking-meter rates in Chicago have been rising.
Illinois law long has allowed disabled people to park all day for free in metered spots, and with one handicap placard in circulation for every 13 passenger vehicles throughout Cook County the system is rife with abuse, the Sun-Times investigation found.
Angone and the newspaper observed dozens of cases in which seemingly able-bodied people used placards or plates to park for free on the street, where they otherwise would have to use a kiosk to pay to park. Also, in a handful of cases, Angone documented drivers using placards to park at handicap-only spots in parking lots.
Several of those cases including one in which a woman was parking for free using a stolen placard were highlighted Sunday and Monday in the Sun-Times. Those cases represent a fraction of the way the placards are being used to cheat meters. Here are some other examples. In each case, the parties involved either didnt want to talk with a reporter or couldnt be reached for comment:
Aug. 30, 2 p.m. A man who appears to be in his 50s uses a placard that belongs to a 48-year-old woman to park in a handicap-only spot at Southgate Market in the South Loop. After parking, the man is observed working out at an LA Fitness center.
Sept. 9, 2011: 10:35 a.m. A man who appears to be in his mid-30s parks for free in a metered spot in the 1100 block of South Jefferson Street using a placard registered to a 66-year-old woman from Hillside.
Sept. 14, 8:40 a.m. A woman who appears to be in her 40s parks an Infiniti Q45 along Jefferson Street near Vernon Park Place and doesnt feed the $3-per-hour meter box. The handicap placard she posts is registered to a 73-year-old woman who has the same last name as the person to whom the Infiniti is registered.
But the older woman to whom the placard is registered isnt present which makes it illegal to use the tag to park for free.
Secretary of States Office records show that another placard that once belonged to the same 73-year-old woman had been confiscated because a relative had been using it. The 73-year-old has since gotten a new placard so that appears to be whats happened again.
Sept. 16, 4 p.m. A man who looks to be in his late 20s parks a Ford Escort station wagon in a handicap-only spot in a free lot at the Showplace Icon movie theaters at 150 W. Roosevelt Rd. Because he takes the spot, someone else who is obviously disabled drives past and is forced to park about 75 yards away, Angone observes.
The placard in the mans car is registered to Florence Chill, a Gold Coast woman who died in May at age 92, records show. She doesnt appear to be related to the driver of the Ford, which is registered to a couple in Little Village.
Oct. 6, 8:55 a.m. A man who appears to be in his late 50s parks his black Nissan in a metered spot in the 2700 block of South California, near the Cook County Criminal Courthouse. But the placard he displays in the car is registered to a 59-year-old woman from Galena.
Oct. 6, 9 a.m. A man who appears to be in his 30s parks for free in a metered spot in the 2600 block of California using a placard that belongs to a 68-year-old Chicago woman. He then walks to the Criminal Courts building.
Next they’ll be telling me welfare moms are seen everywhere carryng Gucci bags.
How does one even get these handicapped tags?
I tore my achilles tendon and could barely hobble around for close to 2 years, bad limp for another 3 years and now I’m OK. I couldn’t get one, even when I could barely walk.
In Illinois, all it takes is a note from a doctor, saying that you need one and they are free.
“A 73-year-old woman has her placard confiscated by the Illinois Secretary of States Office because a relative had been ticketed for using it illegally. The same woman gets a new placard and, again, somebody other than herself is illegally spotted using it, this time in September. “
If this woman or others like her are riding in the car of someone else they are allowed to take that sticker and use it then!!!! I have a friends who had open heart surgery. Sometimes she rides in the car with me and she takes her sticker with her and put it on my car so she does not have to walk all the way across creation to get in the store. As long as she is with me if the cops ask questions then nothing is said. It is her sticker and I was giving her a ride.
Just saying don’t always jump to conclusions on this matter.
I dont think its too difficult, esp. if you have legit problems
You needed to go to a doctor for them to fill out the form. But some doctors are notoriously against giving them out, requiring their patients to "tough it out." After a major illness, where I was in the hospital for 2 months, requiring 8 trips to the operating room, it was another month after I was released before I could drive. But my GP refused to fill out a form until my physical therapist called and then would only give me one for 30 days, until she wrote a letter stating that I would need one for 6 months in order to help me recover, and that I might need one for a full year.
In the mean time, my rheumatologist has no problem with filling out the form for me every 6 months. I don't misuse it, I am actually disabled, walking in great pain with a cane.
Your doctor fills out a form and the DMV gives you the placard.
Sorry, your doctor didn’t volunteer that info.
Agreed. People jump to conclusions over these place cards.
Sometimes my husband drops me off at the door and then parks in the handicap spot while I wait for him, so I don’t have to walk so far back. Is he disabled no, but I am.
Name: Stephens, Leslie Marie
Charge: FRAUD DISPLAY HANDICAP PARKING PERMIT OF ANOTHER
Occupation: None given
In California they have two kinds: one less than a year and one that is permanent. I have a permanent kind, which doesn’t require a review in a time period ever.
I wonder why PA needs a review every six months, seems like a permanent disability is easy enough to determine.
I know a man who is perfectly fine. He was able to get a handicap sticker since he occasionally drove his disabled Mother to the doctors. I have no issue with that at all. I do have issue with the fact that he used that sticker to park in reserved parking the other 360 days a year. The initial handicap reserved parking/handicap tags made sense... it helped those among us suffering from all sorts of conditions. However, with everything that initially starts out as good... it is misused.
Did you ask your doctor for a prescription for a temporary permit? That’s the procedure in Ohio. I asked my doctor a few months before I had back surgery. After 16 hours of back surgeries in July I no longer use the permit but it sure came in handy when I was in horrible pain.
Sure, the placard can be used in a different car, but only when the person to whom it’s issued is present.
It’s possible that in one of the instances in the article, the driver was going to pick up the handicapped person. But most of these seem to be plain misuse.
A month later a new one showed up in the mail.....sigh.
You (reasonably) healthy people out there using these tags when you don’t have to should be ashamed of yourself. What a bunch of lazy sobs. I had a friend in college who was handicapped, though I hesitate to call him that - he got around better then I did. Sure, he was confined to a wheelchair, but refused a handicap plate/placard for his car. In fact, we used to park well out in lots - so he’d be sure to have an empty slot next to him and room to get in/out. When I asked him about it, basically: “Bob, why are we hoofing it in from way out here?” His response was “Because I can. Some day, any day, I may not be able to, so while I can, I do.” I never asked about it again or said another word about it. So all you lazy people out there - appreciate your mobility. Get out, walk a few dozen extra yards. We could all use the exercise.
I know its silly but that made me sad. You are grieving, doing whats required and then reminded of Mom by this stupid place card.
Truly sorry for your loss, no matter when it’s always hard to lose Mom.
I see the fat ladies at Walmart ,who really need the exercise, park in the handicapped space and waddle over to the electric cart and park their fat asses in it with meat hanging over the side, and riding through the stores.
The only visible handicap is that they are too fat to walk.
There will always be miscreants that scoff at the law. The larger picture is being missed here: the city is charging $3 an hour for parking! for someone working an 8 hour day, that’s $24 bucks for the priviledge of providing the City of Chitcago with city and state wage taxes, or $120 a week. In the same way that ordinary folks in Canada were turned into “smugglers” for buying cigs in the US because the taxes were so high per pack, taxpayers (read “ordinary folks”) are responding in kind.
And like any enterprising citizen that have regressive taxes forced on them by government,many turn a buck by renting these placards. Now, like I said, I don’t condone the actions of a bunch of jerks out there parking closer at the mall or grocer that shouldn’t be, and causing problems and pain for those that deserve to park there, but it seems there are a lot of people that are simply avoiding paying the exhorbitant parking fees dowtown to go to work, and is not an issue of inconvenience for a handicapped person deprived of a closer parking space or ramp.
DISCLAIMER: I don’t work downtown, and don’t live in Chitcago
On this subject...they should do away with handicapped parking spots and just let those with cards use two parking spaces.
**There will always be miscreants that scoff at the law. The larger picture is being missed here: the city is charging $3 an hour for parking!**
Thanks for the link Arrowhead. Unbelievable!
That wouldn't cut down on the distance they would have to walk or wheel chair to, the entrance of whatever they are patronizing.
That sounds steep to me too but I haven't had to use parking meters in cities, that much, since the meters would take pennies and nickles.
I live in NotChicago, Illinois.
I haven't read all the replies yet and maybe somebody already weighed in on parking rates in N.Y.C., I've heard that they are outlandish.
As opposed to my mother who will be 91 in 2 days. She uses a shopping cart to lean on, to get into the store and leans on it to do her shopping. She has arthritis pretty bad and could get a placard but she refuses to do that or use an electric cart. She's not overweight either, she says she doesn't want people to, "think she's lazy".
She owns one of those electric scooters, weather permitting, she sometimes uses it to wheel around in her large yard.
Same people who spend forty minutes driving up and down the mall parking lot aisles looking for the close-in spot, instead of walking twenty yards. Lazy.
My wife got one when she popped her achilles, the key is usually the doctor’s note.
I fail to see how an extra 50-100 ft will keep them home.
How can they tell just by looking at someone? I got a permit at age 44 due to having a form of muscular dystrophy which affects my legs (and arms), as well as kidney failure, (which caused weakened bones). Could they tell I had renal osteodystrophy, putting me at high risk for a fracture from a fall just by looking at me? Could they see my feet which are misshapen (and chronically painful) through my orthotics and shoes? Appearances CAN be deceiving.
6 months is for the temporary placard, which is red. The blue “permanent” placards are good for life, but need to be renewed every 5 years.
See post 33.
Exactly. My 26 year old daughter in law has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Nobody would know just from looking at her that she has anything wrong with her. She also has a 18 month old baby whom is in the 95 percentile for height and weight. Sometimes she will dislocate a joint/s just picking him up and lose her ability to remain standing. People need to stop being so judgmental. Things aren't always as they appear.
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