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Downtown Sacramento Businesses Hurt By Disabled Parking Placard Abuse

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Drivers who illegally use disabled parking placards to get free parking in Downtown Sacramento are frustrating business owners.

Art Luna, who owns Luna’s Cafe, is fed up with people without disabilities illegally using handicapped placards to park for free, right in front of his business all day.

“I get complaints from my customers that they have no access to us as they’re driving by, so it’s just business that we’re losing on a daily business,” Luna said.

A November CBS13 investigation looked into the abuse of disabled placards in the city of Sacramento. Many violators, according to the task force officer were state employees, like one our cameras caught in the act.

“When I saw you confront her, I just kind of felt like, ‘Well good, good, you finally found somebody,’” Luna said.

He’s called the city a few times on drivers he suspects are breaking the law.

Our investigation found at least eight violators are caught a month in downtown Sacramento alone.

Luna’s customers like Ken Rinehart are too familiar with the fight for parking on his street, and say he’s not the only business owner hurting.

“I think anybody who abuses that is doing a disservice to the community,” Rinehart said.

All Luna can do is hope his customers return, and take his advice.

“I’m sorry, just be patient,” he said. “That’s what I do.”

The city of Sacramento parking services manager says the DMV signed off on 150,000 handicapped placards in 2012, compared to 130,000 in 2011.

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