Providence Police Sting: Fraudulent Disabled Drivers

By Dana Griffin

PROVIDENCE, RI- Providence Police are cracking down on people who illegally use handicap placards. Police set up a sting after getting an anonymous tip. They nabbed multiple drivers. Disabled drivers say, it's about time.

With walking so difficult for disabled driver, Linda, parking far away from a store is unbearable.

“If at times I can't get a handicapped spot, I'll turn around and go home,” said Linda.

When she learned police are catching able–bodied people using handicapped placards to park in Providence, she was appalled.

Linda said, “I think all of that is nonsense.  Don't use the spot if you're not entitled to it.”

David Conca, another disabled driver has been frustrated with seeing people abuse handicapped spots for years.

“If you're lucky, you might catch them coming out, but then by the time police comes over, if you make a complaint at the store, they're gone,” said Conca.

Police reported seeing disability placards inside eight out of ten parked cars at Exchange Terrace. They caught five people with placards that didn't belong to them.

Those drivers were willing to say anything to get out of the $500 fine.

Sgt. Paul Zienowicz said, “I questioned her further on whose placard it is she told me her husband's, then it was her ex–husband's, then it was her son's.”

Police say since the sting, fewer people have been using the fraudulent placards to park in handicapped spots, which makes them believe people are getting the message.

© 2013 WLNE-TV