CHICAGO (CBS) — The City Council has approved an ordinance that will crack down on abuse of disability placards by Chicago drivers.

The new ordinance will go into effect on Jan. 29 of next year, in an effort to halt abuses that Mayor Rahm Emanuel says have “gone on far too long.”

The city will raise fines for the misuse of the placards, and authorize police to tow and impound cars with fraudulent or misused disability placards.

Anyone who shows a fake, stolen or altered placard will be fined $500 to $1,000, while the owner of any car in which there is an otherwise invalid placard – such as one that belongs to someone else – will be fined $200.

Both offenses can also lead to impoundment, which carries a penalty ranging from $1,500 to $3,000 and towing and storage costs.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office has launched a probe into disabled parking placard abuse starting in January. Multiple news investigations, including one by 2 Investigator Dave Savini, have exposed able-bodied people illegally using the placards.

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