Authorities began focusing on accessible parking violations this month.
Officials in a county in Omaha, Nebraska, are cracking down on accessible parking violations throughout October by driving around and looking for illegally parked cars.
“You never know. You never know when someone will need that space,” Disability Rights Nebraska representative Sharon Ohmberger told local news outlet WOWT.
“This is an important initiative because access is crucial for some people to maintain their independence and shape them so that they do not have to rely on others to get where they need to be.”
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Community Action Team (CAT) focuses on quality of life calls from community members.
Your concern includes things related to ADA parking violations, homeless camps, etc.
During the raid, the CAT will check cars in business parking lots, apartment complexes and recreational areas.
The team will ensure that cars have the blue disabled sign on the rear view mirror or dashboard.
A ticket can cost a driver between $150 and $500.
Some WOWT reporters had the opportunity to ride along with Deputy Tony Incontro.
“We’ll go and see if there’s a sign on the dashboard. I haven’t seen one, but I’ll check the license plate and see who the owner is,” he said after spotting a truck parked in an ADA parking lot.
While driving around, Incontro checked a vehicle for the sticker and made an observation.
“I don’t see one,” Incontro said as he checked a spot in an ADA lot.
“Some people may not realize that what they are doing is illegal or causing problems for other people,” he said.
Education is a big part of the month-long initiative.
“Making sure people are aware of this is our biggest challenge,” Incontro said.
After speaking with the owner of a car that was illegally parked in an accessible spot, the deputy said, “He told me the condominium management told him he could park in those spots if there were no parking spaces available.”
He continued: “I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it’s still not an excuse to park in disabled spaces.”