A tip of the hat to Palm Springs Police Department Citizens on Patrol who wasted no time recently ticketing a motorist for parking in a reserved spot for the handicapped.

I wanted to shake that man’s hand after he secured the ticket beneath the wiper blade of a four-door Dodge Dakota in the Palm Springs Walmart parking lot. It was shortly before 11:30 a.m. and the patrol car cruised the lot looking for violators of California law.

There was no handicapped placard displayed in the truck and clearly no special handicapped license plates, yet it was parked in the No. 1 spot in the lot.

It is against the law to park In a disabled person parking space, unless you are disabled and display a placard or disabled license plates, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Leave Reserved Parking Spaces For Disabled

It’s not only against the law, nosing the vehicle into a spot clearly marked for the disable robs a spot from a person who really needs it and relies on it. So many people find it difficult to walk great distances and rely on those spots so they can safely pick up groceries, get life-saving medications or even attend worship services.

In case you are wondering, handicapped parking fraud can be charged as an infraction or a misdemeanor. An infraction is punishable by a fine ranging from $250 to $1,000. A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to six months in county jail and the same fine.

I’m sure the owner of that truck was not pleased when he returned, but I was elated to see the alleged violator caught in the act. I know too many people who depend on those spots for day-to-day living.

Nicely done, Palm Springs Police Department Citizens on Patrol.