In the Christmas song, "The Holiday Season," the lyrics touch on some of the highlights of this time of year like shopping, hanging stockings, singing carols, etc. An Illinois version of the song would also include cracking down on what Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White calls "Holiday Scofflaws."

So while it may be the Holiday Season, that whole "peace on Earth and goodwill" thing in Illinois ends when you illegally park in a reserved disabled parking space, or abuse disability parking in any way.

Reserved Parking for Handicap Sign
Is this sign really that complicated? (Getty Images)

This Isn't The First Time That Illinois' Secretary Of State Has Cracked Down On This Type Of Behavior, It's Actually The 14th Time

I would think that after 14 years of going after those who misuse/abuse disabled parking, the message would have been received loudly and clearly across our state, but no. The Secretary of State Police say that it's still quite the problem.

Last Friday, the Secretary of State Police got things started by ticketing disabled space abusers at two Chicagoland malls, and they say that this wasn't simply a Black Friday event. The plan is to go after parking space scofflaws throughout the entire holiday season.

Sign for the reserved parking spot for the handicapped
Getty Images

The Secretary Of State Police Want You To Keep This Phrase In Mind: "If You Don't Belong There, Don't Park There"

If you choose to park in a disabled parking space (and you're not disabled), you could be looking at a potential license suspension and/or a pretty hefty fine, which will seriously cut your gift-buying budget.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White:

Drivers caught misusing a placard face a six-month driver’s license suspension and a $600 fine. Repeat violators will face a one-year driver’s license suspension and a $750 fine for a second offense; for third or subsequent offenses, violators will face a $1,000 fine plus a one-year driver’s license revocation. The fine for parking in an accessible parking space without a disability placard or disability license plates can be up to $350. Using a deceased person’s placard or a fraudulent placard can result in a $2,500 fine and one-year revocation of a driver’s license.

As you might guess, this isn't a new problem, and it's certainly not Illinois-centric:

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Say cheese, Illinois!

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