SCV known to DMV investigators who enforce handicap parking

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is cracking down on the misuse of disabled parking placards. Currently, the minimum fine is $250. Austin Dave/The Signal

When it comes to communities across the state where motorists park illegally in parking spots for disabled persons, the Santa Clarita Valley is on the list of the DMV law enforcers.

Investigators with the Department of Motor Vehicles caught 136 people misusing disabled-person parking placards during 21 enforcement operations carried out last month.

At least 10 of those people were nabbed in the SCV.

And, it’s not the first time.

“I’ve seen Santa Clarita come up quite often,” DMV spokesman Jaime Garza said Thursday, referring locations targeted for monthly enforcement.

“I’ve seen Newhall and Valencia, as well,” he said.

Of 21 enforcement operations conducted last month, the SCV was the community targeted twice in one day, on May 28.

“That means you had two divisions working (in SCV) that day,” Garza said.

In one sweep May 28, the DMV investigators pulled over 70 motorists in “Santa Clarita/Valencia” and found eight motorists illegally using handicap placards.

In the other sweep done in “Valencia” that same day, they pulled over 30 additional motorists and ended up writing two more citations.

Of the 21 communities targeted for scrutiny, the SCV and three other communities were the only ones to have 100 drivers “contacted.”

Offenders had their placard confiscated and face fines that range from $250 to $1,000.

During the past 11 months, DMV investigators issued 1,866 citations and verified 20,420 disabled person parking placards.

The DMV holds as many as 24 enforcement operations each month throughout the state targeted at curbing disabled person parking placard abuse.

“We kind of know where some of the higher traffic offenses are going to be,” Garza said.

A lot of their enforcement comes from tips from the public, he added.

“We get phone calls from people reporting on a suspect,” Garza said. “That’s how we find out.”

Garza urges anyone seeing the law broken to make a note of where the infraction occurred and then contact the DMV.

“We have aggressively pursued enforcement efforts these past two years,” he said.

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