Gone from Evanston are the meterless parking spaces reserved for disabled drivers. While there are still spaces reserved for handicapped drivers, a blue placard hanging from the rear-view mirror will not exempt the driver from having to feed the meter.

State law (625 ILCS 5/11-1301.1) provided that, until Jan. 1, 2014, those drivers with blue placards would not have to pay to park. Since in many places, there were no parking meters, the appearance of meters at parking spaces designated only for handicapped/disabled drivers has caused some confusion, particularly to drivers with blue placards who received parking violations.

Drivers who do not have a gray or yellow placard are responsible for fines accrued for meter violations.

City Parking/Fleet Division Manager Rickey Voss provided the following information: Meter-exempt permanent placards (yellow and gray) are issued to those who are permanently disabled, have an Illinois driver’s license, and cannot

• handle coins or tokens due to a lack of or limited motor control in both hands,

• reach a minimum of 42 inches above ground level,

• access a parking meter, or

• walk more than 20 feet due to severe debilitation.

The more familiar blue permanent placards, no longer meter-exempt, are issued to anyone with a permanent disability who does not meet the meter-exempt requirements above or to all non-drivers with a permanent disability.

Temporary placards, which are red, are issued to anyone whose disability or limitation is temporary. Organization placards, of varying colors, are issued to services that provide free transportation to people with disabilities.

Anyone wishing to obtain further information about the placards or the process of applying for one should visit http://www.dmvorg/il-illinois/disabled-drivers.php.