More Drivers Parking Illegally In Handicapped Spaces

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - If you're caught parking in a handicapped space illegally, get ready to pay up.

"A lot of times at 7-11, Wal-Mart, hospitals, anyone who's stopping in for a quick second; it just depends on what day and who's in a hurry," Parking Officer, Gene Washam, said.

Lately, Washam and his partner Jerry Bechyne, have been ticketing more drivers using handicapped parking spaces with out the proper tags.

He says it's a common thing during the holidays, but officials say even if the driver has proper tags, choosing where you place it in your car can still earn you a ticket.

"If it's not visible on your windshield, you're getting a ticket; we're not ticketing the person, we're ticketing the car," Washam said.

"I check for the date that's written on there to make sure it coincides," Bechyne said.

If you're one to find a ticket waiting on a windshield, it could cost you some big bucks.

"Our tickets say $250 but the judge can rule it to $500, that's up to the judge," Washam said.

Citizens On Patrol makes their rounds at least 4 times a month. In just an hour, they were able to catch a handful of drivers taking advantage of those handicapped parking spaces.