SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - Undercover officers with the DMV launched a sting in San Jose Thursday to catch people illegally using handicap parking placards.
It started in a busy parking lot off Almaden Expressway and Blossom Hill road and focused on the 16 handicap parking spaces located in front of the Almaden Valley Costco.
For several hours, officers check disabled parking placards to see if they were valid and if the person registered was actually in the car.
A total of 3 citations were handed out including one to Cece Mischaud, who says she didn't realize the placard had expired.
"I'm guilty. What can I say? I didn't pay attention. I didn't follow the rules. I have to pay for it," said Michaud.
The expired placard was confiscated and the Morgan Hill resident planned to call the doctor to get it renewed.
"I deserve it. I want everybody else if they're not doing the right thing to pay for it because you're hurting someone else who needs that spot," said Michaud.
The violation for misusing a disabled placard is a misdemeanor citation that can result in a $250-$1000 fine, a court appearance and a note on the driver's record.
Two residents we spoke with who both use temporary disabled placards after recent surgeries applauded the enforcement.
"It's very much needed because people are abusing it," said 83-year-old Dick Miller of San Jose.
"Very aggravating because when you're in pain, I have family worse than I am, but they have to walk so far and they can barely make it. It's not fair," said Elaine Quibelan.
In the past eight months, the DMV has launched 170 operations and issued 1,664 citations. Both the number of operations and citations have more than tripled compared to four years ago.
The DMV says they typically cite one person for every 7 placards checked.
In San Jose, the DMV said it was surprised that of the 135 placards checked Thursday, only 3 people were cited.
They hope it's a sign their message of enforcement is getting out.