(KMOV.com) -- Holiday shoppers planning a trip to St. Clair Square Mall are being warned about parking.
Metro-East Police said they will check parking spaces for illegally parked cars in spaces reserved for someone with a disability.
Illinois investigator Dwayne Buretz patrols parking lots all the time and said he’s not surprised to see people parking in disability parking this time of year.
“You have increased traffic and you have nastier weather,” said Buretz, “It’s much more convenient for someone to pop into one of these spaces they are not entitled to.”
Fines for parking in accessible spaces without a parking placard or disability plate can go as high as $350.
Buretz said violators aren’t limited to those without placards, but also include those who don’t use the placards correctly.
“We are also checking for people misusing placards,” Buretz said, “In other words, a family member or a friend of someone who is disabled, they take their placard and use it with or without their permission.”
Fines for using someone else’s placard are more severe than parking without a placard. Misusing a placard could result in a six month suspension of driver’s license and a $500 fine for a first offense, but those fines increase dramatically for repeat offenders.