Author Topic: Confronted handicapped parking abuse  (Read 11274 times)

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perpetua

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2014, 06:32:32 PM »
I am in two minds about this. I can see both arguments.

I have the UK equivalent of a placard - a Blue Badge. My disability is somewhat obvious as I use two crutches so as yet I haven't been confronted about using a disabled space. That said, I don't have any issue with explaining my disability to people if I were to be approached, but I understand that others do and might be uncomfortable with this.

On the other hand, people keeping quiet about this kind of abuse is exactly why misusers think they can get away with it. Nobody ever confronts them because they're afraid of offending or engaging the crazy, so they assume nobody gives a rat's behind about what they're doing so why shouldn't they park there if nobody cares?

The trouble with calling the authorities is I'd assume by the time they got there, the offender would be long gone. So, if you can take a photo of them misusing the space and send it in somewhere, that's a good idea.

Here, the blue badge must be displayed on the dashboard when parked in a disabled space. If you're not displaying it, no matter whether you have an invisible disability or not, you're not entitled to be using the space. So in that situation I don't see anything wrong with pointing out to an offender that they're misusing it. Safety is paramount, of course.

She was rude to misuse the space.  You were ruder to confront.  Isn't it often said here that calling out rude behaviour can be just as rude?

I disagree, and I really wish this 'rule' would just die. Calling out minor etiquette violations in the sense of pointing out when someone's using the wrong fork and embarrassing them in the process? Rude, of course.  Calling out someone deliberately behaving like a jerk? I don't subscribe to the theory that this is rude, and perhaps if people did it more (politely, of course), people wouldn't behave like jerks so often.

DavidH

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2014, 06:45:24 PM »
I don't see the issue with what the woman was doing, since there are multiple handicapped spots at the store and she was right by the car unloading things.  Had a person come along who needed the spot, they could have either taken the other handicapped spot or asked her to move.  Parking and going away from the car is, to me, very different from actively unloading stuff and being right there and able to move the car.

sunnygirl

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2014, 07:50:16 PM »
I am in two minds about this. I can see both arguments.

I have the UK equivalent of a placard - a Blue Badge. My disability is somewhat obvious as I use two crutches so as yet I haven't been confronted about using a disabled space. That said, I don't have any issue with explaining my disability to people if I were to be approached, but I understand that others do and might be uncomfortable with this.

On the other hand, people keeping quiet about this kind of abuse is exactly why misusers think they can get away with it. Nobody ever confronts them because they're afraid of offending or engaging the crazy, so they assume nobody gives a rat's behind about what they're doing so why shouldn't they park there if nobody cares?

The trouble with calling the authorities is I'd assume by the time they got there, the offender would be long gone. So, if you can take a photo of them misusing the space and send it in somewhere, that's a good idea.

Here, the blue badge must be displayed on the dashboard when parked in a disabled space. If you're not displaying it, no matter whether you have an invisible disability or not, you're not entitled to be using the space. So in that situation I don't see anything wrong with pointing out to an offender that they're misusing it. Safety is paramount, of course.

She was rude to misuse the space.  You were ruder to confront.  Isn't it often said here that calling out rude behaviour can be just as rude?

I disagree, and I really wish this 'rule' would just die. Calling out minor etiquette violations in the sense of pointing out when someone's using the wrong fork and embarrassing them in the process? Rude, of course.  Calling out someone deliberately behaving like a jerk? I don't subscribe to the theory that this is rude, and perhaps if people did it more (politely, of course), people wouldn't behave like jerks so often.

POD. I confront/call out people who are abusing disabled spaces sometimes (my mother who's had walking problems for decades always used to do the same), just as I do/would call out witnessing racism or homophobia. I don't do it in an aggressive way, or where the situation might be unclear, or in circumstances where it might put my own safety in danger, but for me as an activist speaking up against abuse is important. And I agree, I think that etiquette rule relates to calling out non-harmful faux pas, not calling out actual abuse.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."


I don't see the issue with what the woman was doing, since there are multiple handicapped spots at the store and she was right by the car unloading things.  Had a person come along who needed the spot, they could have either taken the other handicapped spot or asked her to move.  Parking and going away from the car is, to me, very different from actively unloading stuff and being right there and able to move the car.
What she was doing was wrong. I don't agree with the argument of, "Well it's okay if it's just one person breaking the law, one person doesn't make that much of a difference." Because it's never just one person. Every time someone does this, they send the message to others that it's acceptable, it's called "normalising." What if another able-bodied person had taken the other space five minutes later? Or more than one disabled person arrived? There are plenty of reasons a disabled person may be physical unable, uncomfortable, or feel unsafe asking someone abusing a disabled space to move.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 08:11:24 PM by sunnygirl »

ncgal

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2014, 07:51:15 PM »
Question: what if you know the person and know that the handicap person that the tag is for it not in the car or anywhere nearby...that the person is at home?  One person I know will use the handicap space when taking her son to karate.  The dad is the one that the tag is for..not her or her son...would I be right saying anything in this type of circumstances? 

sunnygirl

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2014, 08:01:29 PM »
Question: what if you know the person and know that the handicap person that the tag is for it not in the car or anywhere nearby...that the person is at home?  One person I know will use the handicap space when taking her son to karate.  The dad is the one that the tag is for..not her or her son...would I be right saying anything in this type of circumstances?
It may depend where you live, but where I am I would report it to the government agency that handles disabled permits, because that is fraud. If it was a friend I'd probably have a quiet word with them though.

Knitterly

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2014, 08:21:10 PM »
POD. I confront/call out people who are abusing disabled spaces sometimes (my mother who's had walking problems for decades always used to do the same), just as I do/would call out witnessing racism or homophobia. I don't do it in an aggressive way, or where the situation might be unclear, or in circumstances where it might put my own safety in danger, but for me as an activist speaking up against abuse is important. And I agree, I think that etiquette rule relates to calling out non-harmful faux pas, not calling out actual abuse.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

But how do you know 100% for certain that the person is not disabled?  Appearances can be deceiving.  Is the possibility that they MIGHT be perfectly abled really worth harassing someone with an invisible disability like Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, or early stages/some forms of MS?

How do you know for certain that they just haven't put their tag up?  How do you know they just keep it in their purse or wallet until it's needed to prevent other drivers of the vehicle from misusing it?  How do you know for certain that they keep it put away until the days they actually need it so as to not abuse the privilege themselves? And should they really have to deal with you harrassing them over a parking space?

Isn't it honestly better to just let the police sort it out?

I'm not advocating misuse of parking spaces.  I'm advocating going through the right channels.  The woman was wrong to misuse the parking space.  But it is more wrong to confront her without knowing her personal situation and without being absolutely 100% certain that she was not disabled (and not being her dr or someone who knows her well -or at all- means you simply do not have that information).

And honestly, the possibility of a situation escalating is rarely worth it.  No one has ever thought 'gee, I must be a jerk' from being confronted by a stranger.  Anyone who is enough of a jerk to misuse a parking space is not going to walk away feeling embarrassed or thinking 'I'll never do that again'.  They will walk away thinking "Gee, what a nosy [redacted]".

Very rarely are people inclined to examine or change their behaviour based on interference from a stranger they are never likely to see again.

You can speak up to friends and family, but confronting a stranger is rarely the correct thing to do in terms of both etiquette and safety.

Also, calling rudeness "evil" is a slight overstatement.  This hardly falls into the category of homophobia or racism.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 09:54:35 PM by Knitterly »

shhh its me

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2014, 08:37:50 PM »
POD. I confront/call out people who are abusing disabled spaces sometimes (my mother who's had walking problems for decades always used to do the same), just as I do/would call out witnessing racism or homophobia. I don't do it in an aggressive way, or where the situation might be unclear, or in circumstances where it might put my own safety in danger, but for me as an activist speaking up against abuse is important. And I agree, I think that etiquette rule relates to calling out non-harmful faux pas, not calling out actual abuse.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

But how do you KNOW 100% for certain that the person is NOT disabled?  Appearances can be deceiving.  Is the possibility that they MIGHT be perfectly abled really worth harassing someone with an invisible disability like Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, or early stages/some forms of MS?

How do you KNOW for certain that they just haven't put their tag up?  How do you know they just keep it in their purse or wallet until it's needed to prevent other drivers of the vehicle from misusing it?  How do you KNOW for certain that they keep it put away until the days they ACTUALLY need it so as to not abuse the privilege themselves? And should they really have to deal with you harrassing them over a parking space?

Isn't it honestly better to just let the police sort it out?


I'm not advocating misuse of parking spaces.  I'm advocating going through the right channels.  The woman was wrong to misuse the parking space.  But it is more wrong to confront her without knowing her personal situation and without being absolutely 100% certain that she was not disabled (and not being her dr or someone who knows her well -or at all- means you simply do not have that information).

And honestly, the possibility of a situation escalating is rarely worth it.  No one has ever thought 'gee, I must be a jerk' from being confronted by a stranger.  Anyone who is enough of a jerk to misuse a parking space is not going to walk away feeling embarrassed or thinking 'I'll never do that again'.  They will walk away thinking "Gee, what a nosy [redacted]".

Very rarely are people inclined to examine or change their behaviour based on interference from a stranger they are never likely to see again.

You can speak up to friends and family, but confronting a stranger is rarely the correct thing to do in terms of both etiquette and safety.

Also, calling rudeness "evil" is a slight overstatement.  This hardly falls into the category of homophobia or racism.

The bolded this. 

I think saying to someone who admits , " I illegally use handicapped parking" , "that's despicable" and casting them out of your life  is fine and appropriate.   I would have taken no issue with " your car is in a handicapped space. there is no placard or plate.  If you forgot your placard please disregard the following .  IF you are abusing a handicapped space you are a despicable human being."

sunnygirl

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2014, 08:38:39 PM »
There is no need to shout at me, Knitterly.

If a person is not displaying a disabled badge then here they are breaking the law. Period. I have one of those exact non-visible disabilities you mentioned and have been working for advocacy organisations/charities for nearly a decade so I am well-qualified to understand that particular issue. I don't go up to people screaming and shouting, I ask them if they are in need of the disabled space (i.e. giving them the benefit of the doubt, which the police would not do) and politely explain why disabled people need those spaces.

Quote
No one has ever thought 'gee, I must be a jerk' from being confronted by a stranger.
That is a pretty massive interesting assumption. I have first hand had people apologise to me and say, "I was being a real jerk, I didn't realise it was so hard for disabled people to walk that extra bit/that a young healthy-looking person like you could be disabled." So I know for a fact that educating people about the realities of being disabled/having invisible disabilities and about disability abuse/abuse of rights intended for disabled people can and does work.

The last line of my post is a famous quote.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 08:54:00 PM by sunnygirl »

mich3554

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2014, 08:48:18 PM »
I don't see the issue with what the woman was doing, since there are multiple handicapped spots at the store and she was right by the car unloading things.  Had a person come along who needed the spot, they could have either taken the other handicapped spot or asked her to move.  Parking and going away from the car is, to me, very different from actively unloading stuff and being right there and able to move the car.

Believe me, this IS an issue.

Where I work, the h/c spots are VERY limited.  One morning, I pulled into one to see a cab driver just hanging out in one.  Only problem was that on a campus with over 5000 employees, there were about 20 spaces.  I got to work at 6:30 am to get a spot, but by 6:45, every single spot would be taken.  So a cab hanging out in a h/c spot is very much an issue. 

It is attitudes like this that drive me nuts.  I would MUCH prefer not to need my placard and would love to be physically able to haul water bottles across a parking lot.  But I can't even haul one from a h/c spot.

Oh......and exactly where does one park to get out of their car to get a person to move?  It takes me about 5x as long to get in and out of a car than a normal person.  If someone was doing this, I'd probably just drive away as the hassle is too much to deal with.

shhh its me

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2014, 08:53:50 PM »
There is no need to shout at me. That is rude.

If they are not displaying a disabled badge then here they are breaking the law. Period. I have one of those exact non-visible disabilities you mentioned so there's no one better than me to understand that particular issue. I don't go up to people screaming and shouting I ask them if they in need of the disabled space.

Yes, I have seen people change their minds when the facts of their actions were pointed out to them. So I know for a fact that education people about disabled-abuse does work.

The last line of my post I posted is a very famous quote.

She didn't leave the car yet.   

MY mother has a permanent invisible disability , my father at the end of his life had a short term disability. While my father would have withstood questioning my mother won't.  Enough people asking her " Do you have the right to that space"(while she's searching for her hang tag, she prefers it to the plate as it costs less and she can take it with her) really would keep her from going places.  If you see her I'd prefer you call the police and let them "remind" her to put up her placard *she does not park without it but I've also seen he take 20 minutes to find it*.  or not possibly as her car is registered to a person with a disability.

perpetua

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2014, 08:57:35 PM »
POD. I confront/call out people who are abusing disabled spaces sometimes (my mother who's had walking problems for decades always used to do the same), just as I do/would call out witnessing racism or homophobia. I don't do it in an aggressive way, or where the situation might be unclear, or in circumstances where it might put my own safety in danger, but for me as an activist speaking up against abuse is important. And I agree, I think that etiquette rule relates to calling out non-harmful faux pas, not calling out actual abuse.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

But how do you KNOW 100% for certain that the person is NOT disabled?  Appearances can be deceiving.  Is the possibility that they MIGHT be perfectly abled really worth harassing someone with an invisible disability like Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, or early stages/some forms of MS?

How do you KNOW for certain that they just haven't put their tag up?  How do you know they just keep it in their purse or wallet until it's needed to prevent other drivers of the vehicle from misusing it?  How do you KNOW for certain that they keep it put away until the days they ACTUALLY need it so as to not abuse the privilege themselves? And should they really have to deal with you harrassing them over a parking space?

Isn't it honestly better to just let the police sort it out?

I'm not advocating misuse of parking spaces.  I'm advocating going through the right channels.  The woman was wrong to misuse the parking space.  But it is more wrong to confront her without knowing her personal situation and without being absolutely 100% certain that she was not disabled (and not being her dr or someone who knows her well -or at all- means you simply do not have that information).

And honestly, the possibility of a situation escalating is rarely worth it.  No one has ever thought 'gee, I must be a jerk' from being confronted by a stranger.  Anyone who is enough of a jerk to misuse a parking space is not going to walk away feeling embarrassed or thinking 'I'll never do that again'.  They will walk away thinking "Gee, what a nosy [redacted]".

Very rarely are people inclined to examine or change their behaviour based on interference from a stranger they are never likely to see again.

You can speak up to friends and family, but confronting a stranger is rarely the correct thing to do in terms of both etiquette and safety.

Also, calling rudeness "evil" is a slight overstatement.  This hardly falls into the category of homophobia or racism.

Sunnygirl is in the UK, as am I. As we have both stated, if the person is not displaying their blue badge on the dashboard while parked in the space, they are not entitled to use that space. End of story.

If they have an invisible disability and a blue badge, then they are displaying the badge while parked in the space and all's well, no need to question it. 

If I left home without my badge, I couldn't park in the disabled space. I would not be entitled to. Even though I have a visible disability and use two crutches. Doesn't matter. I need to be displaying my badge.

So, here, it's pretty easy to tell, and the issue of 'but they might have an invisible disability' doesn't tend to come up. Invisible or visible, you still need to be displaying your badge from the second you pull into that space.

cass2591

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2014, 09:08:13 PM »
Knittterly, what's with the caps? We get it and you've been here long enough to know that if you must emphasize use italics. Please stop yelling at us.
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shhh its me

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2014, 09:11:51 PM »
POD. I confront/call out people who are abusing disabled spaces sometimes (my mother who's had walking problems for decades always used to do the same), just as I do/would call out witnessing racism or homophobia. I don't do it in an aggressive way, or where the situation might be unclear, or in circumstances where it might put my own safety in danger, but for me as an activist speaking up against abuse is important. And I agree, I think that etiquette rule relates to calling out non-harmful faux pas, not calling out actual abuse.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

But how do you KNOW 100% for certain that the person is NOT disabled?  Appearances can be deceiving.  Is the possibility that they MIGHT be perfectly abled really worth harassing someone with an invisible disability like Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, or early stages/some forms of MS?

How do you KNOW for certain that they just haven't put their tag up?  How do you know they just keep it in their purse or wallet until it's needed to prevent other drivers of the vehicle from misusing it?  How do you KNOW for certain that they keep it put away until the days they ACTUALLY need it so as to not abuse the privilege themselves? And should they really have to deal with you harrassing them over a parking space?

Isn't it honestly better to just let the police sort it out?

I'm not advocating misuse of parking spaces.  I'm advocating going through the right channels.  The woman was wrong to misuse the parking space.  But it is more wrong to confront her without knowing her personal situation and without being absolutely 100% certain that she was not disabled (and not being her dr or someone who knows her well -or at all- means you simply do not have that information).

And honestly, the possibility of a situation escalating is rarely worth it.  No one has ever thought 'gee, I must be a jerk' from being confronted by a stranger.  Anyone who is enough of a jerk to misuse a parking space is not going to walk away feeling embarrassed or thinking 'I'll never do that again'.  They will walk away thinking "Gee, what a nosy [redacted]".

Very rarely are people inclined to examine or change their behaviour based on interference from a stranger they are never likely to see again.

You can speak up to friends and family, but confronting a stranger is rarely the correct thing to do in terms of both etiquette and safety.

Also, calling rudeness "evil" is a slight overstatement.  This hardly falls into the category of homophobia or racism.

Sunnygirl is in the UK, as am I. As we have both stated, if the person is not displaying their blue badge on the dashboard while parked in the space, they are not entitled to use that space. End of story.

If they have an invisible disability and a blue badge, then they are displaying the badge while parked in the space and all's well, no need to question it. 

If I left home without my badge, I couldn't park in the disabled space. I would not be entitled to. Even though I have a visible disability and use two crutches. Doesn't matter. I need to be displaying my badge.

So, here, it's pretty easy to tell, and the issue of 'but they might have an invisible disability' doesn't tend to come up. Invisible or visible, you still need to be displaying your badge from the second you pull into that space.

but this thread is talking about someone still with the car with a door/the trunk open.  She hadn't left the car yet.  Its a small point and while I agree its unlikely she had a hang tag , she also didn't say she didn't and her answers could read " I have a placard and I'm sick of busybodies asking me about why I'm in this spot"

We have 2 types of handicapped tags one the hangtag can not be displayed while the car is in motion, so it can not be displayed until a car is parked and the person retrieves it (from purse , glove box , above vision etc) I believe while not 100% correct if the hang tag is on the dashboard the car will not be ticked (the hangy part can tear)

MsMarjorie

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2014, 09:17:02 PM »
I agree with Sunny Girl and Perpetua, you did the right thing by questioning her.  You were polite and reasonable while doing so, even if the mother didn't take the point, the young daughter might and she might have enough influence to change her mothers mind.

If enough of the general public stand up for people who need the handicapped parking spaces, then we may make a difference.

Also, I think cultural differences come into play here - in most places in the UK and Australia it is not uncommon for strangers to call people out if they think they are doing something wrong.  I have noticed from the USofA posters that, that is usually considered a huge no-no there.

perpetua

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2014, 09:19:04 PM »
POD. I confront/call out people who are abusing disabled spaces sometimes (my mother who's had walking problems for decades always used to do the same), just as I do/would call out witnessing racism or homophobia. I don't do it in an aggressive way, or where the situation might be unclear, or in circumstances where it might put my own safety in danger, but for me as an activist speaking up against abuse is important. And I agree, I think that etiquette rule relates to calling out non-harmful faux pas, not calling out actual abuse.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

But how do you KNOW 100% for certain that the person is NOT disabled?  Appearances can be deceiving.  Is the possibility that they MIGHT be perfectly abled really worth harassing someone with an invisible disability like Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, or early stages/some forms of MS?

How do you KNOW for certain that they just haven't put their tag up?  How do you know they just keep it in their purse or wallet until it's needed to prevent other drivers of the vehicle from misusing it?  How do you KNOW for certain that they keep it put away until the days they ACTUALLY need it so as to not abuse the privilege themselves? And should they really have to deal with you harrassing them over a parking space?

Isn't it honestly better to just let the police sort it out?

I'm not advocating misuse of parking spaces.  I'm advocating going through the right channels.  The woman was wrong to misuse the parking space.  But it is more wrong to confront her without knowing her personal situation and without being absolutely 100% certain that she was not disabled (and not being her dr or someone who knows her well -or at all- means you simply do not have that information).

And honestly, the possibility of a situation escalating is rarely worth it.  No one has ever thought 'gee, I must be a jerk' from being confronted by a stranger.  Anyone who is enough of a jerk to misuse a parking space is not going to walk away feeling embarrassed or thinking 'I'll never do that again'.  They will walk away thinking "Gee, what a nosy [redacted]".

Very rarely are people inclined to examine or change their behaviour based on interference from a stranger they are never likely to see again.

You can speak up to friends and family, but confronting a stranger is rarely the correct thing to do in terms of both etiquette and safety.

Also, calling rudeness "evil" is a slight overstatement.  This hardly falls into the category of homophobia or racism.

Sunnygirl is in the UK, as am I. As we have both stated, if the person is not displaying their blue badge on the dashboard while parked in the space, they are not entitled to use that space. End of story.

If they have an invisible disability and a blue badge, then they are displaying the badge while parked in the space and all's well, no need to question it. 

If I left home without my badge, I couldn't park in the disabled space. I would not be entitled to. Even though I have a visible disability and use two crutches. Doesn't matter. I need to be displaying my badge.

So, here, it's pretty easy to tell, and the issue of 'but they might have an invisible disability' doesn't tend to come up. Invisible or visible, you still need to be displaying your badge from the second you pull into that space.

but this thread is talking about someone still with the car with a door/the trunk open.  She hadn't left the car yet.  Its a small point and while I agree its unlikely she had a hang tag , she also didn't say she didn't and her answers could read " I have a placard and I'm sick of busybodies asking me about why I'm in this spot"

We have 2 types of handicapped tags one the hangtag can not be displayed while the car is in motion, so it can not be displayed until a car is parked and the person retrieves it (from purse , glove box , above vision etc) I believe while not 100% correct if the hang tag is on the dashboard the car will not be ticked (the hangy part can tear)

OK, but we're talking about the general concept of confronting abusers, not just the original situation in the OP. Sunnygirl and I - who have both said we would confront and it wasn't rude to do so - are both in the UK where under the rules of the blue badge scheme, it must be displayed while you are parked in a disabled space *at all times*. Hence our position, and hence the fact that it's generally easier to tell if someone *is* abusing the space.

Our badges aren't displayed while driving either - you generally pull into the space then place them on the dashboard straight away, before you get out of the car even to get things from the boot etc (and I don't see why the lady in the OP couldn't have done that if she did have a placard). It's the first thing I do when I've parked up. We also have to display a little cardboard clock thing which tells the parking inspectors what time we arrived.