Strange experience today:
I was with my son at a birthday party held at an enormous
sport-fitness complex out in the suburbs. It had just started to snow
when my wife came to pick us up at the agreed upon time of 2:30. The
parking lot was full near the entrance except for about 20 handicapped
spots flanking the main entrance atrium. My wife pulled into one of
the handicapped spots that were further away from the actual entrance,
so that any handicapped patrons would not only have many spots to
choose from, but many spots that were closer to the entrance than she
was. My wife didn't want to leave the car or take out our 3 year-old
daughter who was sleeping in her car seat at the time, so she left the
motor running as she waited for me any my son.
So I was surprised to hear her in tears when I called her up to find
out where she was at 2:35 when my son and I were at the front entrance
and couldn't see her. She was upset because just as I had called her,
a police car blocked her in her spot and a policewoman had come to her
window and handed her a $100 ticket. No warning. No discussion. No
nothing. Just roll down your window, here's your ticket for
parking(sic) in a handicapped spot.
When I got to the car, the policewoman had only moved down another 25
yards or so to her next victim. I got out of the car, and told her,
"My wife was NOT parked, she was STANDING, with the motor running and
the vehicle occupied!" The policewoman simply gave me the old, "Tell
it to the judge. My badge number is ..." line. I assured her I would,
and got back into the car.
Of note, the parking spot in question had a sign posted of the
wheelchair logo, with the words, "Reserved Parking" beneath. No
comments on standing.
In Illinois, do we have a legitimate gripe with this ticket? I had
always thought that "standing" meant, "car running and occupied", and
was distinctly different from parking (hence the presence of signs
which specifically say, "No Parking, No Standing."
Thanks for any advice!