Placard Cheats to Meet With Fatter Fines

By Jessica Greene
|  Wednesday, Jan 6, 2010  |  Updated 1:40 PM PDT
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Placard Cheats to Meet With Fatter Fines

A decision Tuesday means those who abuse the blue tag in San Francisco will be slapped with higher fines.

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The jig is up for drivers hiding behind illegal disabled parking placards.

A decision Tuesday means those who abuse the blue tag in San Francisco will be slapped with higher fines.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors approved fine increases for an array of disabled parking infractions, from blocking a blue zone to displaying an invalid placard.

As of Jan. 1, those who display a lost, stolen, expired or counterfeit placard or plate will be fined $825, up from $750. Parking in a blue zone without a placard will now cost the  violator $333, a 10 percent increase, according to the SFMTA.

It might seem like a good idea to some to park a blue spot at the front of a store to "just run in real quick." After all, they're displaying a disabled tag on the rear-view mirror. But what those lazy people fail to realize or are just too selfish to think about is that the spot they're parking in illegally is possibly the only place for someone who uses a wheelchair or has some other mobility issue to park and get into an establishment safely.

It appears SFMTA executive director Nathaniel Ford feels the same way.

"Our goal is to deter the abuse of disabled placards in order to  ensure that the limited parking resources in desirable locations are made available for those who truly need it," Ford said in a statement.

If you spot disabled placard abuse, there's a high-tech way to help report it -- via an app, of course. With the Handicapped Fraud app, people who spot someone suspected of abusing a disabled parking placard, they can report the license number of the placard and the license plate of the car directly to the DMV. There's even a way to snap a picture of the tag and spot in question and send it in along with the complaint.

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