DMV conducts sting on disabled-parking abuse at LA County Fair

POMONA, Calif. (KABC) -- The Department of Motor Vehicles conducted a sting operation at the Los Angeles County Fair on Thursday, targeting drivers fraudulently using disabled persons parking placards.

Everyone who tried to illegally use a disabled placard got a citation.

"I'm glad they're cracking down," said Laura Romero of Lake Arrowhead. "Because a lot of people who have these cards shouldn't have them."

A DMV spokesperson said as of 3 p.m., investigators had checked 322 drivers attempting to park using disabled placards, and 59 of them were found to be using them fraudulently. Citations range from $250 per violation all the way up to $1,000.

"We get a lot of family members using their father's or mother's (placard)," said Commander Paula Lucero of DMV Investigations. "Sometimes they'll flat out tell us (the placard owner is) at home, and they're just using the placard to get better parking."

Most drivers who received citations did not wish to speak with Eyewitness News. But not everyone.

"Ah, it is what it is," said Will Espinoza, who claimed he was driving his brother-in-law's vehicle, and since it had a placard hanging from the rear-view mirror, he decided to use it.

"It's like a speeding ticket, eventually you're going to get one," said Espinoza about the citation he received.

The DMV says each of its 24 districts conducts a disabled-person parking placard enforcement operation at least once a month.

"We really want to educate the public and let them know this is a violation," said Lucero. "It's a steep fine, and if you're out there misusing it, we're going to find you and give you a citation."
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