Watch where you park

By Vanessa Johnson

November 20, 2012 Updated Nov 20, 2012 at 11:00 PM CDT

CENTRAL ILLINOIS -- A heads up for shoppers this holiday season: you may want to watch where you park.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Jesse White announced the Parking Program for Persons with Disabilities Initiative.

The program is designed to crack down on people illegally parking in handicap spots at local malls during the holiday season.

Last year, more than 180 citations were issued statewide between Black Friday and the end of December.

"Our mission is not to give tickets, but to ensure the parking spaces are available to those who need them," said Secretary of State White.

Enforcement will focus on improper use of a disability parking space including using someone else's placard.

Penalties for violators include fines ranging from $350 to $500 and a 30-day driver's license suspension.

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