Not a huge problem in northern Colorado, but there is a crack down in the works.

I am pleasantly ignorant when it comes to parking meters and I am not alone. I like to go to Denver to hang out, visit a favorite restaurant or hit the museums. I do this maybe a couple of times a quarter and each time its parking meter 101 all over again. Do I have to pay, is it 'free' time, how much money am I suppose to put in... and don't laugh but I have stared at one or two and wondered where to put the money. So cheating them and betting them is not in the cards for me, but some are quite crafty.

In some parts of California they are now doing sting operations to catch the cheaters. Sting operations, for parking meters... what a crazy world. Some people are using handicap placards when they are clearly not in need of one and others 'hi-jack' current meters.

In a recent sting in Los Angeles police picked up numerous offenders with handicap placards either stolen or belonging to disabled family members. One police officer told an offender that he could have parked for 10 dollars all day, now he has a thousand dollar fine.

Wondering about the fines in Colorado for handicap/disability parking violations? Well, finding the information was much like looking for the great Hope Diamond or Atlantis, but I did hit the 'penny' jackpot on the DMV website.

Here's what it had to say about this parking violation:

The fine you have to pay on your ticket differs from place to place as the fees are decided by individual municipalities and counties. Fees can range from $20 to $500. More serious offenses carry higher fines and/or imprisonment.

As always, drive safely and park wisely. And just so that I have covered everything, Ignorance may be bliss, but not a recommendable defense in traffic court.