DMV investigators target misuse of placards for the handicapped

Disabled people placardsCars with placards for disabled people park for free on 3rd Street and Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. (Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times / May 31, 2013)

By Ari Bloomekatz – Los Angeles Times – October 17, 2013, 9:50 a.m.

In response to increased complaints from the public, investigators with the Department of Motor Vehicles fanned out across California this week to catch those misusing placards for disabled people.

Investigators issued 241 misdemeanor citations Wednesday, including 43 in the El Monte, West Covina and Los Angeles metropolitan areas, according to a news release from the DMV.

“Fraudulent use of disabled placards is a disservice to legitimate placard owners who really need the parking privilege,” DMV Chief Deputy Director Jean Shiomoto said in a statement.

The DMV will confiscate a placard of a legitimate owner if it is being used by others, he added.

The investigators targeted universities and colleges, business districts and shopping malls, among other locations where the “DMV has received a majority of complaints from the public.”

The citations carry bail amounts that range from $250 to $1,000 for the first offense and up to $3,500 for subsequent offenses.