Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Handicap Parking Abusers; Part 1- Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

I have read many different blogs from people with various disabilities about their frustrations with people who abuse handicap parking. I have wanted to start a handicap parking enforcement program for a long time, and have heard about other communities who have successful programs. I know plenty of people that would volunteer their time to do catch these handicap parking abusers.

Just this past weekend I was trying be a good citizen by going to a local shopping plaza with some other people to remind people to register to vote. As I wheeled around the shopping plaza, I couldn't help but sit near some of the handicap spots to try and catch violators. In less than an hour I had 4 encounters, and here were their excuses:

1) One person apologized.

2) The second person was waiting in the car for his wife, as she returned something in a store. I "nicely" pointed out that he was parked illegally. I told him that the handicap sign does not say, "Please wait here for your wife.” He had the nerve to tell me to loosen up, get over it and he drove off. ( I was very nice to him)

3) The third person just ignored me, so I assumed maybe they had a hearing impairment,

and couldn’t hear me when I tried to talk to them. Or they just forgot to put up their placard. Who knows the real truth behind that person’s situation because I understand people have hidden disabilities.

4) The fourth encounter was with two men who parked their SUV in a handicap spot, only to have it breakdown on them. I asked them why they were parked there in the first place, and both men just started screaming at me. As they raised their voices, and called me very ugly names, a nice man walking by asked the men, “Why they were harassing a women in a wheelchair”. I told the man that they were parked illegally and he called the cops. I didn’t get to see the end result, but since their car had broken down, I hope they were ticketed, and towed.

This has inspired me to want to get some people with disabilities together and go to the local police station to try to start up some kind of handicap parking enforcement program. Being in a wheelchair this is truly when I feel so disrespected by people. Why can’t they just admit they were wrong? When someone parks illegally in a handicap spot and they see someone in a wheelchair approaching them, why don’t they get the heck out of the handicap spot? Some people just don’t care, and when they have the nerve to speak back to you it just boggles my mind.

I could go on and on about this subject, but what I would like to hear from other people is how do you handle the situation with handicap parking abusers?

Tammy Wilber
~Handicap parking abusers, are just disrespectful and wrong ~


bear said...

i know its wrong but i have been known to slash the tires of ppl that park in handicap spots then jog into the store..yes it's illegal but sometimes enough is enough, so they get temporarily handicapped too..they usaully aren't there long enough for the police to come because it's not a high priority for them...

Anonymous said...

I've seen people park behind the illegally parked car so the driver cannot pull out until the police arrive.

I have a son who uses a wheelchair and/or a walker. We have a placard for him. But, nobody else in my immediate family needs the placard, nor is it legal for us to use it unless my son is in the car. One time I was out shopping alone during Christmas season. The parking lot was crowded, but I found a regular space towards the back. As I got out of the car, a man yelled at me saying, "There are three handcapped spaces open up there. Why are you parking here and taking away the available spaces for the non-handicapped people." OK, he wasn't that polite, but that was the essence. I explained to him that I was not actually authorized to use the placard when my son wasn't in the car with me, and his attitude was, "So what. Nobody's going to check or know that it's for your son. Just park there and let other people have the non-handi spaces."

I didn't take his advice, but that's the attitude a lot of people seem to have...Hey, I've got grandma's placard. I can park here even though she's not in the car with me.