AUSTIN (KXAN) — Constables in Travis County will be out in full force this weekend making sure disabled parking spaces are only being used by those legally allowed to.
Twenty-five officers and 76 volunteers will be issuing tickets this tax-free holiday weekend. This is the 19th year of the disabled parking enforcement program.
There’s a lot of people with permanent and temporary disabilities and that can range from people who have it from birth or are veterans or military and come back injured,” said Steve DeAvila, a parking enforcement volunteer. “People don’t think about that when they take that space…you might be taking that space from a veteran that came home and has a disability now.”
The fine for drivers caught parking in disabled parking spots without the proper placard is $500.
Last year, constables in the precinct that covers parts of central and west Austin handed out 2,100 tickets to people parked in handicap spaces illegally. More than 110 of those were issued during tax free weekend.
In 2009, the legislature raised the fine for illegally parking in a handicap spot from a minimum of $250 and a maximum of $500. Fines now range between $500 and $750.
The number of handicap spaces goes up based on the amount of available parking. If a parking lot has 200 spaces total, six of those must be accessible. If a parking lot has 1,000 spaces, a lot must have 20 disabled spots reserved. (See the graphic for a full breakdown).