Volunteers ticket illegal handicapped parking violators - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Volunteers ticket illegal handicapped parking violators

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Thousands of shoppers spent Black Friday inside malls, but outside, volunteers spent the day writing tickets in parking lots, targeting drivers who illegally park in handicapped parking spots.

You'd be surprised how many people cheat and illegally park in handicapped spots, but trying to save a few minutes could cost you hundreds of dollars.

In minutes, we get our first ticket -- a Kia parked in a handicapped spot without a placard or handicapped license plate.

Gene Sellares doesn't get paid to hand out tickets, he volunteers.  He's one of 12 volunteers handing out parking tickets for the city of Phoenix.

"I know it's a need, I know there's a lot of people that need these handicapped spaces that can't get them when somebody else is parked in the handicapped space illegally," he said.

Gene has been doing this for five years.

"I have people that tell me I was only in there for two minutes," he said.  "It doesn't matter how short the length of time is, they still kept someone that's entitled to it from parking in it."

"They're taking away from people who really need it and it's just not right," said Gerry Nork, a shopper.

Nork had tried to park in a handicapped spot, only to find every space taken by people who shouldn't be parked there.

"It's very aggravating and I have actually called the police a couple times when I've seen things like that," said Nork.

Get caught and it's a $288 fine.

"They may get away with it for a while, but there will come a time one of us will be there," said Sellares.

And the city has also set up a hotline you can call to report  people who illegally park in handicapped spots.  If you call them, they'll send volunteers out to that area to patrol.

Disabled parking violation hotline: 602-534-SPACE

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