JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Kevin McDaniel and Aaron Follis head toward a Southside Winn Dixie, but they aren't looking for groceries. "We just try to get those spaces cleared up for the people that need them," said Program Coordinator, Kevin McDaniel.
They are part of the City of Jacksonville's Disabled Parking Enforcement Program. They are targeting violators. "Traditionally one in five, one in six people who park in those spaces either don't have a permit at all or are using someone else's permit which is a huge problem," said McDaniel.
The first time you are caught, you get a warning. However, the group says it won't hesitate to give repeat offenders a $250 fine. "It's a big citation because it's a big problem," said McDaniel.
"If you don't have it, why are you there," said Follis.
Aaron Follis knows first hand how frustrating this problem is for the disabled. He needs at least 10 feet to get his power wheelchair in and out of a car. "A lot of the spaces are big enough, but some are not," said Follis.
They are two of 80 volunteers who went through a 16-hour course with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to do this. "It's a really easy fix. Just find another parking space," said McDaniel.
$175 of every ticket goes to fund disability programs. Kevin and Aaron says they just hope it helps keep these spaces open for the men, women and veterans who really need them. "If you don't have a permit, you don't belong there. Just do the considerate thing and park somewhere else," said McDaniel.
Anyone who would like to sign-up to be a part of the next graduating class of the Disabled Parking Enforcement Program can click here
. You can also contact the program manager, Beth Meyer at (904)-630-4940 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org