Madisonville, KY. - It provides a service for people that are physically challenged but, police in Madisonville say others are abusing it.
Madisonville police say they receive calls of complaints about the abuse of parking spaces for people with disabilities. The complaints range from unqualified users to tags that have expired.
"Oh my well that is really a big pet peeve with me!".
Jan Bibbee gripes whenever she can't find parking. Parking she's needed since having a femoral artery bypass.
"I've got heart trouble i've got neuropothy in my legs they give out on me", she added.
The spots she says are safer for people with physical challenges, but their misuse by others can make these spaces non-accessible.
"On various occasions we recieve complaints about handicap parking".
Madisonville Police Lieutenant Matt Enlow says his office patrols public lots to look for violators often, but sometimes it's not easy.
"We are looking for handicapp placard which is hanging on the rearview mirror sometimes it's placed on the dash so if we recieve a complaint; the officer will get out and check. Sometimes that's not seen from a certain distance", he says.
It's a problem in public places where people will park in a spot meant for those with physically challenges. The penalty for such a violation is a five dollar fine.
"I've been here 21 years and it's been that way since i've been here", the Lieutenant added.
Jan Bibee says a higher fine would cause people to think twice of where they park.
"Well you know alot of times i've seen people park in handicap; not have a sticker not having anything. Young people especially, some older they don't think of the consequences their putting on somebody else and the five dollar fine, I think it's terrible!", she says.
"Obviously its a violation. It's out of respect. People that have a physical condition; it's not good for them. That's the whole point of having a handicap parking space", Lieutenant Enlow added.
We reached out to Madisonville City Officials on whether they would change this long time fine and they say they haven't had an overwhelming request to do so.
Report by Fadia Patterson
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