Report: Many Drivers Abusing Handicap Placards, Parking For Free

CHICAGO (CBS) — A new report details how a growing number of drivers are cheating the system and parking for free all day at Chicago’s metered spaces.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, in a follow-up to a Sunday report, the Chicago Sun-Times says for every 13 passenger vehicles in Cook County, one has a handicap placard.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

In total, nearly 205,000 Cook County residents have the placards, and in many cases, they are being used by able-bodied drivers, the Sun-Times reports.

The newspaper had retired Chicago Police Lt. Robert Angone stake out several areas in the South Loop and other parts of the city and watch for abuse. He found 82 incidences of people who appeared to be able-bodied parking their cars for free using the placards.

They were found around the Loop, near the Cook County Criminal Courthouse at 26th Street and California Avenue, and other locations, the Sun-Times reported. In the compact area bounded by Van Buren Street, Roosevelt Road, Desplaines Street and Canal Street, up to 60 cars were parked for free with handicap placards each day in September and October, the Sun-Times reported.

One 21-year-old intern with Northern Trust Corp. repeatedly parked her car on Canal Street using her grandmother’s placard, although her grandmother was never with her, the Sun-Times reported.

  • Mike

    I see it everyday where I live in NWI, I never knoew that Being Black was considered a Handicap, Parking and then getting out of their Escalades and walk right into Stracks. When you say somrthing to them they give a shi##y look and walk by or cuss at you while walking by. I always call the police and most of the time they get there and wait for them to come out and give them a ticket. I Love it. My mother who had cancer, whos legs hurt her everyday till she passed NEVER had a handicap placard.

  • JB

    didn’t you know the rules dont apply to everyone? That’s why even here in Joliet, I see the same thing and the police do nothing about it the drive right by completely ignoring the very clear fact. Get used to it, this is how things will be for a very long time it seems.

    • KE

      The police drive by because noone calls. They will not simply give tickets because certain groups say that the police of victimizing handicapped people, etc. and THAT is NEVER good when it comes elction time for the town Mayor!!!

      Call the polcie whenever you see it happen! And stick around and watch them get a ticket!!!

  • Disgusted

    There was an expose through Fox 32 a couple of years ago and there were a lot of offenders working at Social Security Administration, 600 W. Madison. At least 2 were in management and just people in the building using the placards of relatives and other people. One employee actually color copied a placard for her vehicle.
    If people can come to work everyday, but are just too fat for public transportation, they should not be issued a placard as a disability. If you prefer to drive in, get monthly parking.
    One thing the expose did not mention is that the same employees caught with the placards were receiving federal transit subsidies that were being resold for 1/2 the price cash. The same employees were not asked about this. They are coming out at a profit–free parking and selling the transit subsidy vouchers.

  • More disgusted

    Maybe the new commisioner for Social Security Nancy Berryhill should look into the employees who are driving downtown everyday and selling the subsidy vouchers which is illegal.
    The other commisioner who retired James Martin just swept this under the rug.

    • Interesting...

      It sounds like “Disgusted” and “More Disgusted” work for the Social Security Administration? LMAO

  • Emanuel Proposes Crackdown On Bogus Use Of Disabled Placards « CBS Chicago

    […] A recent report showed that many drivers abuse the system and park for free at metered spaces. […]

  • State Lawmaker Wants To Abolish Free Parking For Disabled « CBS Chicago

    […] The Sun-Times’ investigation this week found that there is one disabled placard in use for every 13 passenger vehicles in Cook County, and … […]

  • Jim Hamilton

    And I am sure the Sun Times sent these people to a doctor to see if they were infact able-bodied people or not. I saw the article where some old retired police officer staked out parking meters and according to the article he based his findings on what appeared to be able-bodied individuals. Now I’m not saying there isn’t a problem here with unlawfull use of placards but the real agenda is to make real disabled persons pay a private company for parking.

  • Jim Hamilton

    Just because someone doesn’t appear to be handicap doesn’t mean they aren’t Sun Times and their Dr. Cop are basing there findings on appearances.

  • Jim Hamilton

    Here is the real pushand read the article it says he based his findings on appearances.

  • yonex badminton

    I agree with you, but please look at yonex badminton rackets.

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