(FOX 11) - Investigators with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today carried out an enforcement operation aimed at curbing Disabled Person Parking Placard (DPPP) abuse in parking lots that surround the Glendale Galleria.
Of the 280 people investigators found displaying a DPPP, 42 of them were doing so fraudulently and were issued misdemeanor citations.
Offenders must appear in court to face possible fines that range from $250 to $1,000, depending on the jurisdiction. While the misdemeanor offense will appear on their driver record, no points will be assessed because it is not a moving violation.
"The DMV proactively carries out these types of enforcement operations throughout the year in an effort to reduce the impact that Disabled Placard fraud has on the mobility of those with disabilities," said DMV Director Jean Shiomoto.
"The DMV also uses these enforcement efforts to help raise general awareness and educate Californians about the need for compliance and the consequences that come with violating the law."
During the past three fiscal years (2013/14 2015/16), DMV investigators conducted 270 enforcement operations throughout the state and issued 2,019 citations.
The level of reported or observed misuse of DPPP varies from area to area. Most violations involve people using disabled parking placards issued to family or friends to avoid paying parking fees, as well as obtaining convenient and/or unrestricted parking. California Vehicle Code Section 4461(b) (c) prohibits anyone from lending their placard, knowingly permitting the use of their placard or allowing anyone else to use it while they are not present. In addition, a person shall not display a disabled person placard that was not issued to him or her or that has been canceled or revoked.
"It is important to point out that some qualifying disabilities are not visually apparent and allegations of misuse may be unfounded," explained DMV Investigations Chief Frank Alvarez. "The majority of Californians who apply for a DPPP have legitimate reasons for doing so."
Anyone who thinks someone has been issued a Disabled Person Parking Placard in error or suspects placard misuse is urged to contact their local DMV Investigations office and submit a written complaint by filling out a Record of Complaint Form 172A. The complaint can be anonymous.
Approximately 2.4 million people in California are currently issued permanent Disabled Person Parking Placards.