New parking enforcements hit the streets for the holiday season

In this Monday, Sept. 28, 2015 photo a handicapped parking symbol covers a portion of a parking spot on Castle Island, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Marking the eleventh year since Secretary of State Jesse White cracked down on parking enforcement, this year, beginning Black Friday, Nov. 24, the Secretary of State Police will be taking a closer look at those illegally parking in handicap spaces.

The provisions to the Parking Program for Persons with Disabilities will be enforced at shopping centers in Aurora, Bloomington, Carbondale, Chicago, Fairview Heights, Oak Brook, Orland Park, Peoria, Rockford, Schaumburg and Springfield and will begin on what is arguably the biggest day for holiday shopping, according to WRUL.

Once enforced, the fine for parking in a disability space without a parking placard or disability license plate can be as high as $350 and using a placard without authorization or the user in the car can result in a maximum fine of $600 and a possible six-month suspension of their driver’s license, according to CBS.

Related: City of Chicago owes parking meter company $20 million in lost revenue

“Our mission is not to issue tickets, but to ensure that accessible parking spaces are available to those who need them,” White said, according to WRUL. “Parking illegally in a space reserved for people with disabilities means a possible driver’s license suspension and a hefty fine, money which could otherwise be used on gifts. Remember, if you don’t belong there, don’t park there.”

To further enforce the new policy, repeat offenders will be subject to a one-year license suspension as well as a $750 fine. If a violator is caught for a third or subsequent offense, they will face a $1,000 fine plus a one-year driver’s license revocation. In addition, using the placard of a deceased person or a fraudulent placard can result in a $2,500 fine and one-year revocation of a driver’s license.

As the frantic holiday shoppers hit the streets, the Secretary of State Police are not the only law enforcement agency reinforcing their policies. The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police are partnering once again in an effort to drive home their endless “Click It or Ticket” campaign, according to the Chicago Sun Times.

Related: Chicago is losing billions of dollars searching for parking

Aimed at getting drivers and passengers to buckle up when on the road, the two agencies have partnered with 150 law enforcement agencies this season to increase patrols and checkpoints over the Thanksgiving weekend. A short, but stacked system, the extra enforcement will run through Monday in an effort to protect drivers.

With all of the extra parking enforcement going around, holiday shoppers in the city will be happy to hear a little bit of cheer. When it comes to on-street parking meters in Chicago, most are enforced Monday through Saturday, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, according to the Municipal Transportation Agency.

This allows those out-of-town visitors to enjoy their feast without all of the fuss with other exception days including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.Street sweeping crews hit the streets once more the following day at midnight, getting back to reality and enforcing fines for street meter parking once more.

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