Author Topic: Missuse of handicap parking  (Read 6088 times)

Offline herb

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Missuse of handicap parking
« on: September 27, 2010, 08:22:43 PM »
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/26/AR2010092603823.html

http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=130162191&m=130162179

Here are some links to a story about abuse of handicap parking. Some investigations in several cities found the level of abuse was between 33 and 75%. People not handicapped were using the permits. Many of the actual permit holders were deceased or were other family members not present or the permits had been stolen.

I recently took my son to a concert at the comcast center and parked in the handicapped lot. After arriving I found that the performer we came to see was being preceded by six hours of other very loud, lousy acts. After an hour I went out to read in my car. While there, the handicap parking lot filled up. I would say that over 90% of the people parking there were 20 year olds that looked very able bodied.

Offline ann

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Re: Missuse of handicap parking
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2010, 11:24:08 PM »
Makes you want to jump up & down & scream; doesn't it.......most haven't a clue about what it takes to walk very far as an amputee. :)

Offline pegleg jack

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Re: Missuse of handicap parking
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2010, 01:24:55 PM »
this is one subject you dont want me toget started on.
you-all have a great day.

Offline uScott

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Re: Missuse of handicap parking
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2010, 04:45:56 PM »
FTA: "Police say they are reluctant to demand proof of a disability, even when a driver gets out and starts sprinting across the street."

Well, duh.  Here's how it works in my state: Your disability is between you and your doctor; your doctor fills out and signs a paper that says "yes, this person qualifies for a disabled parking pass."  That goes to the state, and the state issues the placard on the doc's say-so.  A cop doesn't need to know *why* you got the permit, but he can easily check with the state to see if it's legit or not.

On mine, my name, address and other info is printed right on the placard (on the inside, you have to take it out of the holder and unfold it to see).  It's certainly easy enough for a cop to check that the person using it matches the person to whom it was issued. IIRC the law specifically says that a cop can ask for this proof, and if I refuse or cannot provide it, I forfeit the permit on the spot.  There's even a big old serial number on the placard. With every cop car fitted out like a rolling data center, it should be an easy five-second job to check the serial against the state database and see if it's expired or forged.

Now, Herb, as for "20 year olds that looked very able bodied" ... I'm still sort of young, not 20 but I look younger than I am, and if my prosthesis is working well for me right at the moment, you likely couldn't tell the difference from looking.  Now honestly if I feel that I'm having a good day, I'll park elsewhere and leave the blue stalls to those who need it more than I do that day.  But if I need it I'll take it, and just because I'm not limping doesn't mean that every step doesn't burn like fire.  That said, I don't believe for a second that misuse doesn't happen, but you can't tell just by looking.


Offline tbrbeast

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Re: Missuse of handicap parking
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2010, 06:27:17 PM »
The situation in Oregon is similar to what uScott described.  The state used to write the driver's license number on the placard when it was issued but due to privacy and identity theft issues, has stopped doing that.  However, each placard has a serial number and an expiration date.  That serial number is tied to an individual that I know for a fact is accessible to law enforcement very quickly as I had a dispatcher inform me that the vehicle I reported as being parked in a handicapped spot was registered to an individual with a placard.  My placard is good for 8 years; I have to renew it when I renew my drivers license and requires a signed form from my doctor.  I just renewed it last spring and as uScott noted, it is quick and painless.  Don't know how other states do it but it seems to me that requiring a periodic renewal may cut down on the misuse, at least in terms of the placard being passed down to others.

Offline JClark

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Re: Missuse of handicap parking
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2010, 09:46:23 PM »
But what about cars that are not displaying a permit?  I've been told "we have the permit, but didn't hang it" but this just reinforces the perception that you don't need a permit to use the spot.  Or cars that don't have a permit, they just don't care.  I have (ONCE!) persuaded the police to talk to someone, no placard, no disability, but he would not write a ticket.

The businesses need to make a complaint or the police won't write a ticket.  As a citizen, I do not have the authority to force the police to write a ticket for this.

Businesses won't enforce it for fear of losing a customer.

Businesses use the handicap spots for cart return racks at the grocery stores near me.  Or let customers just push carts into these spaces and don't have an employee clear them out.

Does a child with ADD qualify for a disabled parking permit?  In PA, yes.  The poor child may not listen to the parents and run through the parking lot.  (I call that cleaning the gene pool!)

Do people with parking permits park in the blue-lined area for wheelchair ramps?  yes.  Why? It's a handicap spot!  (they obviously didn't read the rules that came with the hang-tag, including "remove this before driving")
North-East Pennsylvania
+Left foot------------+Right foot---------------+
|Accident 8/31/2002 |ankle fusion 1/8/2008  |
|Amp 7/11/2003      | RBK (Ertl)    4/7/2010 |
|Ertl June 2005        |                                  |
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Offline guzzitx

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Re: Missuse of handicap parking
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2010, 10:04:23 PM »
Stopped at the Walgreens on the way home.
Got my black Lab in the car(he goes to work with me.) Windows partially open.
I go inside for mouthwash and deodorant.
Park in handi-spot, with placard displayed.
Back out 2 minutes later, 3 of 4 handicap spots empty.
Guy gives me a big blast about parking in H-cap spot as I walk out.

I reply "Do it with half a leg and get back to me, A-hole", as I lift the pants leg and show him the CF ankle.

He rolled up his window and drove off, as I saw his wife/gf slap him. Hard.

Good Day.

Offline Steve C

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Re: Missuse of handicap parking
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2010, 06:32:36 AM »
Years ago I was at the local shop/market and I would normally not park in the handicapped spaces as there was usually free spaces close by  the door anyway. Unless I was having a bad day, like uScott was saying.
I noticed a window washer parked in the handicapped space while he was working. I asked if he had a handicapped placard. He didn't. He have a few words and he takes me inside to talk to the manager as he had told him to park there. I was made to feel like a jerk by all for pressing the point. I didn't care.
That same shop is (or at least was...I don't shop there anymore) notorious for people parking in the handicapped bays. With the economy as it is and the state being so cash strapped, you'd think the police would cop on and target the handicapped parking. It would pay for a fleet of new cop cars.

Embarrassingly enough, if I do use the handicapped spot I tend to limp a little bit when I get out! I know I don't have to. I earned my placard, but I must admit that I don't like the stares I sometimes get. I'm in my forties (I have been told I can pass for thirties), can pass as able bodied and drive a land rover defender jeep. Add these all together it will look like I nicked a placard.

Guzz- I don't blame you for getting annoyed at the fella spouting off to you. I would think it was funny to see him get the slap too. That said, he also seems to be on our side even if he was a jerk about it.
Where ever I go, I'll always have one foot in Ireland   /   I'm not a complete fool. Some parts are missing.

Offline uScott

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Re: Missuse of handicap parking
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2010, 01:39:21 PM »
My placard is good for 8 years; I have to renew it when I renew my drivers license and requires a signed form from my doctor.  I just renewed it last spring and as uScott noted, it is quick and painless.  Don't know how other states do it but it seems to me that requiring a periodic renewal may cut down on the misuse, at least in terms of the placard being passed down to others.

Here we have a "temporary" (red) and "permanent" (blue) placard; the temp is good for six months, and if you need to renew it you need to have another doctor's note.  The permanent is good for two years, HOWEVER the renewal process doesn't need a doctor's note, only my signature on the renewal form.  Meaning that dishonest people can easily keep renewing Granny's placard years after she shuffles off this mortal coil.  On the one hand, this could be stopped by requiring a new doctor's note for each renewal, but on the other hand, trudging back to the doc every two years for a piece of paper would get old, and fast.  (Well, a smart doc would phone it in because he knows that an amputated leg isn't going to get better, but mine is ornery and won't do squat for me without an office visit and co-pay.)

JClark, cars that aren't showing a permit are in violation, whether they actually possess a permit or not.  The law says "must display".  So maybe having a permit is a defense when you are ticketed, but no cop should have the least qualm about ticketing a car that isn't showing its permit.  Those of us who are "forgetful" would find that these tickets are a wonderful memory stimulator!

I have heard, in some areas, of ordinary folks being trained and deputized for the specific and limited purpose of issuing disabled parking citations.  Wouldn't it be fantastic if every placard holder had that privilege, and used it often?

Once or twice I have gone in to pester the manager where they have a work crew parked in the disabled stalls, IMO if nobody complains, nobody will learn that something's wrong.  One time I got a guy fired for parking in a disabled spot -- a state employee, driving a state-owned van, parked (sans permit) in a blue stall, so close to my car that I literally could not open the door far enough to get in. I called in a complaint, and apparently mine was only the last of several....  For a while I tried to feel bad about that, but I just couldn't manage it.

If you want to really get a look, try parking your motorcycle in a disabled stall!  My state actually issues handicap parking plates for cycles (probably meant for 3-wheelers), the idea that you can be disabled-parking qualified *and* ride a motorcycle seems to cause a major disconnect in people's minds.  Usually I avoid the issue by skipping the blue stall and just parking on the sidewalk, it seems to draw fewer complaints. :D

Offline Dick Stevens

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Re: Missuse of handicap parking
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2010, 08:53:40 PM »
My classic mega-abuse of h/c parking was in a local Burger King.  There were 4 designated h/c parking spaces, and there were many vacant regular spaces available.  A PA state highway dept over-sized dump truck pulled in and parked cross-wise covering ALL FOUR h/c spaces.  A half-dozen very able-bodied-looking men walked in and ordered lunch.

I felt like walking up to their table and asking "Which one of you guys is the handicapped driver.", but thought better of it.  One gimpy geezer on crutches vs 5 or 6 muscle-bound hulks didn't look like a good match.

I did take down the truck's humber and reported to the state - but never heard anything about it.  Grrrr.

Could be they were MENTALLY handicapped. LOL

Dick Stevens, DBKA in PA

Offline Steve C

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Re: Missuse of handicap parking
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2010, 06:32:13 AM »
My classic mega-abuse of h/c parking was in a local Burger King.  There were 4 designated h/c parking spaces, and there were many vacant regular spaces available.  A PA state highway dept over-sized dump truck pulled in and parked cross-wise covering ALL FOUR h/c spaces.  A half-dozen very able-bodied-looking men walked in and ordered lunch.

I felt like walking up to their table and asking "Which one of you guys is the handicapped driver.", but thought better of it.  One gimpy geezer on crutches vs 5 or 6 muscle-bound hulks didn't look like a good match.

I did take down the truck's humber and reported to the state - but never heard anything about it.  Grrrr.

Could be they were MENTALLY handicapped. LOL



Too bad you couldn't have taken a photo with the mobile phone. I bet the newspaper would have printed it.
Where ever I go, I'll always have one foot in Ireland   /   I'm not a complete fool. Some parts are missing.

Offline anne f.

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Re: Missuse of handicap parking
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2010, 07:51:05 PM »
I had some harass me the other day while parked in the handicap zone.  I have been helping my daughter get settled in a new apartment as she has just started university in St John's Newfoundland.  For those who have never visited St John's it is all hills much the same as San Francisco.  After lugging stuff from the car to the apartment up and down the hill all day my leg was on fire and the hip on my good side was really giving me grief. At the end of the day we needed something from the local hardware store so I made one last trip out by myself even though I really wasn't feeling up to it.

I got half was through the store and I got a really bad charlie horse cramp in the hamstring of my good leg, it was so debilitating I could barely move and I thought I was going to fall down.  I was using the shopping cart as a walker and I just sort of shuffled with it out to the parking lot.
Once I was at the car I looked across to the cart corral where shoppers are supposed to leave the shopping cart, it was approx 60 feet away and I knew I would never be able to make there let alone get back to the car without the help of the cart so I walked to the front of the car and hooked the cart securely on to the handicap pole the holds the handicap parking sign so it wouldn't roll away and do any damage.

Meanwhile a woman starts to pull into the next handicap spot and she beeps her horn at me and points to the cart.  I limp over to the cart and again check that it is secure and is not going to roll anywhere, it is directly in front of my car not hers and I start to get back into my car.  She beeps again and yells "move that cart" and I sweep my arms to her spot and say, "your spot is clear, you have loads of room, leave me alone!" and get into my car and start to back out.  I then notice that she has quickly backed up and is attempting to block me in an attempt to make me move the cart before she will let me out.
I just angled my car slightly and then drove out straight forward between the two handicap signs leaving her fuming behind me.
I guess I could have rolled down my window and attempted to shout out an explanation of how I am not physically able to walk without the cart at the moment but really, why the heck should I have to explain my handicap to her.  She had a very elderly woman with her which was probably the owner of the handicap sticker hanging from the rear view mirror.  My guess was that she was driving her elderly mother somewhere and had no idea what it is like to be mobility impaired herself.
I was really angry at her attempt to be the Cart Police, and really why wouldn't she just let her mom use the cart and thus return it to the store for me if it bothered her that much.

anne


Offline Dick Stevens

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Re: Missuse of handicap parking
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2010, 01:26:03 AM »
Anne:

Short answer is:  Some people in this world just LOVE to have a confrontation.

Your point is well-taken.  If she and her elderly paasenger were coming INTO the store, couldn't they have just taken the cart and used it?
Dick Stevens, DBKA in PA

Offline herb

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Re: Missuse of handicap parking
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2010, 07:28:58 AM »
I live in a very small town and I doubt that our police have ever ticketed or confronted anyone illegally parking in handicap spots. I pick my son up at his school and everyday there are cars without permits parked in the few spots available. Somedays there is a school bus parked across all four of the spots with the driver sleeping while waiting for a game to be over.

Our local home depot store is always busy and the handicap spots are always full. Frequently their delivery truck is parked in one of them. They parked a food vendor trailer in the closest handicap spot to the store exit . The vendor  uses the next handicap spot to store his trash and supplies.

Our walmart uses 4  or more handicap spots in the spring to display garden supplies. This huge  super walmart has three entrances and exits. Recently I went there and parked in a handicap spot close to the department I was shopping in. I made my selection and then there were no cashiers open at that end of the store. I walked to the other end of the store, checked out, walked back to the entrance I parked near, and the door was locked. I asked an employee why the door was locked during business hours and she said all the employees in that area were too busy putting stock out to watch the door.

Herb

Offline tbrbeast

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Re: Missuse of handicap parking
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2010, 06:28:07 PM »
Anne - you had the forethought to put the cart in front of the stall.  Too many people, and many who have a placard leave them in the no parking aisleway between or adjacent to handicapped spots.  It is painfully obvious that those folks do not have a clue the logic or reason for that aisleway. 

Where I live, the city cops don't tend to patrol the downtown business district for parking scofflaws.  The downtown business association has contracted with a parking company to enforce the parking laws during the normal business day (but not evenings or nights).  Those folks are pretty strict; one local gentleman who had a placard, was parked in a marked handicapped spot but his vehicle encroached on the adjacent no parking aisleway.  He got a ticket because he was improperly parked. 

I have seen everything from armored car companies to the local Pepsi distributor to local cabbies park in or block the spots and aisleways.  Cabbies seem to be the worst; they seem to feel that they can park anywhere without restriction.

I hate to say it but people with placards can be some of the worst violators.  I saw a guy a couple of weeks ago park his car in the no parking aisleway that blocked the use of 3 handicapped spots (a double and a single facing each other).  He said he had a permit and could park there.  I suggested that we could call the cops and let them make the decision.  He moved his rig immediately after that.  I suspect that he was using someone else's placard given that he was about 6 ft 2 or 3, in his 30s or at worst early 40s and no obvious impairment of any type.

And lets not forget the folks who park there and when told they are parked illegally without a permit, tell you that they will move if someone needs the space.  As if someone with a permit is going to get out of their rig to do that.