Los Angeles approves $1,100 fine for drivers who misuse disability parking placards

A hefty fine for misusing a disability parking placard in Los Angeles was approved this week by city council.

An ordinance approved Tuesday 13-0 by Los Angeles City Council adds a $1,100 fine for misusing "a disabled parking placard or special license plate to obtain special parking privileges."

The new $1,100 fine is the maximum amount allowed under state law.

In 2013, the city council adopted a resolution prohibiting the use of a disabled parking placard or special license plate that, according to DMV records, had been lost, stolen, surrendered, canceled, revoked or expired, or was issued to a person who has been deceased for more than 60 days.

The resolution also prohibited the use of a disabled placard or special license plate when not transporting the person to whom the placard or license plate was issued.

However, the resolution did not provide for a monetary penalty for violating the prohibitions.

The new ordinance will impose the fine on an individual who misuses a disabled parking placard or special license plate. State law also imposes an additional 10 percent of the penalty, which is deposited with the city.

Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Blumenfield said the DMV caught 345 people abusing the parking placards over four days at the 2018 Los Angeles County Fair.

"Taking disabled parking spots from those who truly need them is unconscionable and we must increase the penalties now," Blumenfield said on Twitter.

The ordinance needs to be signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to become official.