Handicap Parking Crackdown, DMV Cites Almost Two Dozen People

Almost two dozen people accused of using handicapped parking placards, that don't belong to them , are now in trouble.

They were caught after undercover officers spotted them in a parking lot in Southeast Fresno on Tuesday.

Hollie Hendrick has a handicap plate, and relies on his walker to get around.

"I saw a car this morning in a handicapped spot with no I.D.," he says. "It burns my hinder."

"More often than not, it's a valid placard," says Tom Wilson, the Central Area Commander for the Department of Motor Vehicles Investigations Unit.

He says the abuse of handicapped parking placards is rampant.

"We've actually seen people using placards where the person is deceased," Wilson says.

Over and over, they handed out tickets.

One woman who was ticketed says her placard was stolen last month.

She was caught, using her daughters.

Problem is, her daughter needed to be present.

She was not, and the woman was cited.

"We've actually gone into the store to find the people assigned to the placard only to find they are nowhere to be found," says Wilson.

Another woman cited says she was using her sister's placard, then hid her face from the KMPH Fox 26 News camera.

Embarrassment is just the beginning.

Those cited face fines of $250 to $1,000 dollars - and up to six months of jail time.

Wilson says the unit carries out these busts at least once a month.

Hendrick is thankful.

"Have a little compassion for those that are handicap. Let them have those spots," Hendrick said.

By the end of the day, officers handed out 20 tickets - citing almost half of those whose plates they verified.

Wilson says that if you suspect someone is abusing a handicap plate, or if there's a location you see people breaking the law, you can call the DMV hotline at (559) 488-4024.