Last updated 10/16/2013
One of the many myths that we have to deal with at the College is the one about our ability or authority to issue “temporary” handicapped parking privileges to someone with a temporary medical condition. To make a long story short, we can’t.
BHC exceeds the State requirement for the minimum number of disability parking spaces that must be provided on our property. Our parking spaces meet State code with regards to markings and signage.
Disability parking on all BHC properties is strictly enforced.
BHC is not a private institution. We adhere to the same traffic laws as any municipality or county in the State of Illinois. A part of those traffic law and regulations deals with the issue of handicapped parking. Here is how it works.
Effective January 1, 2002, to qualify for the Secretary of State’s Parking Program for Persons with Disabilities, an applicant must have one of the five (5) specific medical conditions listed below. “Cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest” is no longer a qualifying disability unless it is related to one of the listed conditions.
- Cannot walk without the assistance of another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair or other assistance device.
- Be restricted by lung disease to such a degree that forced (respiratory) expiratory volume (FEV) in 1 second, when measured by spirometry, is less than 1 liter.
- Must use portable oxygen.
- Have Class III of Class IV cardiac condition according to standards set by the American Heart Association.
- Be severely limited in the ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological or orthopedic condition.
Parking privileges apply only when the authorized holder of a parking placard or disability license plates is present.
Vehicles properly displaying a parking placard or disability license plates are exempt from parking meter fees or time limitations except at meters, signs or other markings with time limitations of 30 minutes or less.
Parking placards do not permit vehicles to park in areas where parking is prohibited. Vehicles are also prohibited from parking in any manner that creates a traffic hazard.
There are three types of placards available from the Secretary of State’s Office:
- Permanent Placards. These are blue and are issued to persons with a permanent disability. These placards are valid for four years and expire on the last day of the holder’s birth month in 2006.
- Temporary Placards. These are red and valid for the length of time indicated by the certifying physician, not to exceed 6 months if issued by the State of Illinois.
- Organizational Placards. These are green and issued to organizations that transport persons with disabilities. These placards are valid for 4 years and expire on April 30, 2006.
Proper Display of Placards
Because a parking placard is issued to the authorized holder, and not to a vehicle, it may be used in any vehicle in which the holder is driving or is a passenger. When parked, the placard must be properly displayed in one of the following locations so it is clearly visible to law enforcement personnel.
- Hanging from the inside rear view mirror, numbers facing the windshield, or
- Placed on the vehicle dashboard, numbers facing up.
Failure to Properly Display a Parking Placard Can Result in a Ticket
Remember to remove the placard before the vehicle is in motion to prevent obstruction of view or damage to the placard from sun exposure.
Disability License Plates
Persons with permanent disabilities may obtain special license plates for one vehicle titled in their name. A parent or legal guardian may obtain one set of plates if the qualifying person with disabilities does not own a vehicle and must frequently rely on someone else for transportation.
Corporations, school districts, limited ability companies, nursing homes, convalescent homes and special education cooperatives transporting eligible persons may obtain disability license plates as well.
Penalties for Misuse
It is illegal to:
- Park in an access aisle, which means the vertical lines adjacent to the parking space for persons with disabilities. The access aisle reserves room for persons with disabilities to safely enter and exit their vehicles. You cane be ticketed for parking in an access aisle.
- Use a parking placard or disability license plate if the holder is not present. State law requires the authorized placard or license plate holder be present when parking privileges are used. Abuse could result in a fine of up to $250.
- Park in a metered space using a placard or license plate if the authorized holder is not present. Abuse can result in a minimum fine of $100 and revocation of the placard or plate.
The following are Class A Misdemeanors and can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and a 30-day drivers license suspension:
- Providing false information on an application
- Assisting someone in providing false information on an application.
- Loaning a placard for someone to park in an accessible space.
- Altering a placard.
The following are Class 4 felonies and can result in a $10,000 fine and a 30-day drivers license suspension.
- Using a phony placard.
- Making a phony placard.
- Selling or otherwise distributing a phony placard.
NOTE: Police may confiscate a placard if they believe it is being used illegally. Police officers have clear authority to enforce parking laws on college property, and property controlled by the college.
Applications for parking placards or disability license plates are available at your local Secretary of State Drivers Services facility, at www.cyberdriveillinois.com, or by contacting the Persons with Disabilities License Plate/Placard Unit, 501 S. Second Street, Room 541, Springfield, IL 62756.
A licensed physician must certify on the application that you have one of the five specific qualifying disabilities. You must also include your date of birth, gender, and drivers license or state ID card number.
If applying for disability license plates, a copy of the registration card or title is required if the vehicle is registered in the applicants name. If the vehicle is not registered in the applicant’s name, a copy of the title or manufacturers certificate of origin is needed.
If current plates are valid for more than 90 days, an application for replacement plates and a $14 replacement fee must accompany the application for disability plates. If current plates expire within 90 days, submit a registration application or renewal form and the annual $78 fee.
Vanity and personalized disability license plates are available. Call 217-785-6901 for more information.
If you have any questions contact a BHC Officer.