Shoppers illegally parking in spaces reserved for disabled motorists will be targeted by Illinois Secretary of State police beginning Friday.

Secretary of State Jesse White says his police force will be checking for cheaters at Water Tower Place in Chicago, Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg and malls in Carbondale, Champaign, Peoria, Fairview Heights, Marion, Rockford and Springfield.

White says the mission is not to give tickets but ensure the spots are available to those who need them.

More than 160 citations were issued last year. Those caught misusing a disability parking placard face a six-month license suspension and $500 fine. Penalties are doubled for repeat offenders.

There are more than 690,000 disability placards and 80,000 disability license plates issued in Illinois. People may report their misuse online.

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images