The new law creates a tiered system to determine who would qualify for parking meter exceptions. Not everyone with parking placards or disability licenses plates will be able to park for free.
The new legislation sets up a new parking placard, which is going to be yellow in color, and will only be issued to individuals who have a valid Illinois driver's license and in addition to that their disability, must be a more stringent criteria to be eligible for the meter exemption," said Bill Bogden, the disability liaison to the Illinois Secretary of State.
He says the yellow placard will only be issued to drivers with disabilities who meet one of the four criteria:
1. They must have a lack of hand dexterity in both hands
2. Cannot reach above a height of 42 inches
3. They must use wheelchair or assistive device for mobility
4. Cannot walk 20 feet due to a cardiovascular neurological orthopedic condition
Since may, the office has been notifying people about the changes.
"We had 682,816 people throughout the state of Illinois that have been issued a blue permanent disability parking placard. In addition to that, we had about 83,000 people in the state of Illinois that have disability license plates," said Bill. "We've had over 220,000 people in the state of Illinois renew their parking placards with our office. We've had a little over 18,500 people be eligible for the meter exempt card."
Training on the new regulation is available.
"Myself, along with the Illinois Secretary of State Police are conducting any training to any police department across the state of Illinois that requests training on their officers," Bill said.
If you think you qualify for the new placard, now is the time to apply.
" We're doing everything that we can to help educate the general public about the changes to the program," said Bill.
The parking meter exceptions only apply to those with a yellow placard. Out-of-state placards or disability license plates will not be excepted from having to pay meter parking. For more information go to www.cyberdriveillinois.com.