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Colorado Springs police want drivers to obey handicap parking laws

Published: January 15, 2014, 11:39 am, by Andrea Sinclair

Colorado Springs police issued 1,749 tickets to drivers who parked illegally in handicap spaces in 2013, according to police records. This year, they want to encourage the public to follow parking regulations while making the statute clear.

Parking in a handicap spot may be tempting, but it’s illegal and it denies the right of someone with a legitimate need, according to a statement released Wednesday by police.

Police records show the busiest months for handicap parking violations were August with 238 tickets issued and June with 206. Wintry February had the least recorded parking violations, with only 60 tickets issued that month. Still, with an average of 146 tickets written per month, records show there are plenty of Colorado Springs drivers parking unlawfully, police said.

Colorado’s statute defines a disabled driver as “one who cannot get about without the assistance of a ‘mechanical device’ or who has a general physical impairment that makes parking close to entrances a great help.” Physicians have the discretion to assign such a disability, depending on the condition, the statement read. People who fall into such categories may be eligible to receive a handicap parking placard or disability license plates.

“The most important thing that people who illegally park in handicap spaces have to ask themselves is who are they hurting by taking that spot,” said Colorado Springs police Lt. Brian Ritz. “We’re trying to educate and encourage the public so that they’ll voluntarily follow the law.”

The fine for parking illegally at a handicap space is $100 per ticket, police said.