PORTLAND (AP) — The Portland City Council has approved an ordinance that allows parking enforcement officers to issue $200 tickets to drivers who misuse disabled parking placards.

The ordinance approved Monday takes effect in 30 days.

Parking Manager John Peverada estimates his department sees about 50 cases a year of people misusing the placards that hang from the rear-view mirror to either park in spots reserved for the disabled or get free parking at meters.

He tells the Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/17CXdnz ) most of the abuse involves people altering the expiration date on a placard or using a relative’s placard.

Under current law, only police can issue tickets for improper use of the placards, but the police chief says his officers are too busy dealing with more serious crimes.

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