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Grace Period On Disabled Parking Changes Ends Thursday

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CHICAGO (CBS) – If you’ve got a blue, red, or green disabled parking placard, get ready to shell out for parking at meters in Illinois.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports signs have been posted on parking payboxes throughout Chicago, warning the 15-day grace period is ending for drivers with blue (permanent), red (temporary), or green (organization) placards who don’t feed the meter.

A new state law requires anyone with a blue disabled parking placard to pay for metered parking. Only disabled motorists with yellow and gray striped placards are exempt from paying the meter. Previously, any driver with a disabled parking placard got free parking at meters.

Now, only the most severely disabled, and physically unable of reaching a parking meter, are allowed free parking at meters.

Anyone who abuses a disabled parking placard faces tougher penalties.

“If you’re using grandmother’s parking placard, and grandma’s not here, that carries a $600 fine, and a six-month driver’s license suspension for their first offense,” said Bill Bogdan, the disability liaison for the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, which administers disabled parking placards for the state.

The state tightened the rules for disabled parking, because of widespread abuse of the placards.

The city of Chicago also is allowed to boot or tow the vehicle of a driver who abuses a disabled parking placard.

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