FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, IL. (KTVI) - Black Friday shoppers are filling up their carts they`re also filling up mall parking lots and finding a good spot can be tricky. But some take it to another level, by parking in handicapped spaces illegally. Investigator Bob Campbell spent his day patrolling the parking lot at the St. Clair Square Mall and dished out citations.
The Illinois Secretary of State Police launched a holiday season initiative to catch violators in the act. Campbell checked out cars and gave out 3 citations during his shift in Fairview Heights.
'Confiscated three placards that were used they were mom`s card being used. They`re in a hurry that`s all they want to do they want to do their shopping.' Said Campbell
Joan Mahn says she`s thankful that spaces are being checked and hopes that others reconsider before taking the spots. Right now there are more than 734,000 disability placards and plates issued in the state of Illinois.
'I think it`s awesome because so many people borrow aunts or granny`s blue tag and then come to the mall and use it and hop in and out and don`t understand that it`s important for a person with a wheelchair or power chair to be able to use the handi-spaces.' Said Mahn
If caught you can face a $500 fine, suspended license and mandatory court,
An appearance Campbell says could be avoided if you simply follow the law and keep placards and plates with those who need it most.
'Handicapped spaces allow me to me to be independent and that`s important. It really helps out that law enforcement has come in and said hey we`re going to take care of this today and that`s really awesome.' She said.
Investigators also urge shoppers to report abuse of the spaces to police by calling 217-638-9339.