Recently several instances of confusion regarding the rules of handicap zones have been brought to the attention of the Springfield Police Department.
Springfield Police, Traffic Services Supervisor, Sergeant Charles Keen says his office has been dealing with these calls, and wants to drivers to understand that placards are issued to a particular person not the vehicle.
“What we’re finding, and this is also coming from our officers in the street that they’re finding people using placards believing the placard belongs to the vehicle, when it’s actually handicap placards issued to a particular person,” said Keen. “In order for that placard to be used that person has to be in the vehicle operating it, or riding in it, said Keen”
Plates are issued to vehicles but the handicapped person must be in the vehicle for the plates to be used for handicap parking. Keen says also the yellow lined ‘loading zone’ of the handicap space is not a parking space, it is there for people with disabilities to have room to get in and out of their vehicles.
“The penalty by state law is a $250 fine, so it’s a pretty as parking citations go it’s the most expensive one. It’s a pretty substantial fee or fine and the reason is to encourage people not to violate that space,” said Keen.
Officers can determine if a placard does not belong to a driver by typing the placard number into the Secretary of State database.