Illegal handicapped parking becoming increasing problemUPDATED 10:41 PM HST Aug 18, 2013Video Transcript
Parking is such a premium on Oahu that some drivers will go to great lengths to get a prime spot -- even breaking the law. KITV4's Paul Drewes looks at handicapped parking problems and what's being done to curb abuse. These handicapped stalls are supposed to reserved for those with physical limitations. BJ@2:35 "it is very important for people that are really handicapped, that they have a spot they can park and go to their destination or store" But able-bodied drivers also take up these prime parking spots. James@ 4:24-4:31 "I've saw some people, i'd write a ticket if I can let them know they can't park there in the spot" James can't write a ticket, and regular Honolulu police officers don't. So who is watching out for violators? thomas@11:28 "its not just about violations and writing citations, its also about education." Thomas Sugita, and nearly two dozen other part-time volunteers patrol for handicapped parking abuse. graphic goes HERE Writing out between 80-90 tickets every week, which adds up to more than 4-thousand throughout the year. Drivers are cited for not having a matching ID card with a current placard, or parking with an expired one. standup@9:18-9:26 "while those without a placard will sometimes park in these spaces. HPD says the greatest abuse comes from those WITH a placard" Gamaliel@8:27 "Its easy to violate, easy to take your auntie's placard and I am going to run to the store real quick and just be a few minutes" Illegally parking in these blue spaces could end up costing you a lot of green. The fine for most of the handicapped infractions is $260. While the penalty for placard abuse will cost the handicapped person even more - their permit to park. gamaliel9:54-10:12 "if you're spotted by one of our volunteers, and you are unable to produce the ID card. The volunteers can and will confiscate the placard from you." 15:25 "I've had people swear and point the finger." thomas@15:18-22 "I've had people tear up ticket and throw it down.. While illegal parkers may get upset, Thomas says those who really need the spots are grateful HPD volunteers are on handicapped parking patrol. thomas@13:28-13:36 "When we're doing a citation, if its a handicapped person or someone with a handicapped family member, they say good. you're doing a good job, they pat us on the back and it makes us feel good." Paul Drewes KITV 4 news. HPD's parking volunteers go through a 20-hour training course and do have some police powers. They can issue citations for other violations and can also ticket ANYWHERE there are handicapped spaces, even on private property.