DMV Cracks Down on Drivers Illegally Using Disabled Parking Placards

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SACRAMENTO -- Wednesday, officers with the California Department of Motor Vehicles went after people who are not disabled, but are using a disabled parking placard. One of the areas where there are the most violators is downtown Sacramento.

A team of DMV investigators worked undercover near Seventh and P streets, waiting hours for drivers who have disable placards to come out of their office buildings and get into their cars.

"And to prove it's yours you simply have to have the registration card for the plate and your identity, or you have to have the placard ID card," said Tom Edwards, central area commander with DMV Investigations.

Most of the people the officers FOX40 followed talked to were using their own placards. But a handful were using someone else's. By 5:30 p.m., out of 78 people who had the placards, nine were issued citations, according to the DMV.

One woman was caught parked along P Street between Sixth and Seventh streets using her cousin's placard. She's now stuck with a fine that can run over $1,000, and her cousin could also be in trouble as well.

"It's actually a misdemeanor to also loan your placard out, so we'll also sometimes deal with the individuals who've allowed that to occur," Edwards told FOX40.

"The sad part about that is there may be somebody who really does need it," said Gordon Flowers, who works downtown and after one hip replacement, and another one coming, has a disabled parking plate. "On my worse day it hurts, and you just limp along and kind of keep moving."

Edwards said there's a huge problem of counterfeit or stolen disabled placards being sold online. His unit has now started cracking down on that by buying them from sellers on eBay and Craigslist and prosecuting them.