Author Topic: Confronted handicapped parking abuse  (Read 11593 times)

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Tabby Uprising

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #45 on: January 23, 2014, 08:34:25 AM »
First, I would never confront an elderly person or someone with an obvious disability like Parkinson's and certainly not someone with a combination of the two. You're missing our point here. It is usually fairly obvious when someone is using a disabled space inappropriately, at least here under our blue badge rules it is. Perhaps it's different in the US if you don't need to put the hangtag in place until you actually leave your car to go off shopping, I don't know. A big section of offenders is the 'just popping to the cashpoint, nobody will mind' crowd, for example. They are usually very obvious. (disabled spaces in UK supermarket car parks are usually closer to the cashpoints than any of the others)

Second, I guess I'm not understanding why your father in law in the hypothetical situation above doesn't just keep his placard in the car. (I took mine out yesterday because I needed to renew it online so needed the badge number but otherwise it lives in the car so I *don't* forget it. I must remember to put it back in there today before I go out or I wouldn't be entitled to use the spaces and that's just my hard luck if I forget.)

Third, what are we hoping to accomplish? Awareness, for one thing. It's not all about 'getting people into trouble'. Parking in these spots when you are not entitled to do so is.not.okay. And some people genuinely don't realise that and think it *is* OK for short periods, like the 'popping to the cashpoint' example above. Nobody's going to ticket them in the two minutes it takes to do that. That doesn't mean they should get away without having this pointed out to them.


Pardon my non-quotey skills.

As it happens, you can't always tell by looking at my FIL that he has Parkinson's.  Some days are better than others and a lot of his pain is a side effect of the medication he takes to control it.  Now, as much as it would pain him to hear it, you can tell by looking at him that he is elderly.  What surprises me though is that in this thread and others like it in the past on e-hell, invisible disabilities are emphasized as a reason not to confront individuals over their handicapped parking use.  So to understand, the position of some people is that it is okay to confront people who don't "look disabled" provided they don't have the tag in their vehicle?

Also, you say it's obvious when someone is using the space inappropriately.  Is that because of them not displaying the placard? Because again, if they have a placard, but have forgotten it, what do you expect them to do?  Technically yes, they are inappropriately using the spot because the tag is not there, but the disability/pain remains.  What's the point of confronting them?  You said the objective was awareness, but I can't imagine these folks are not aware that they need the badge.  They know.  They forgot.  Probably don't need a stranger chiming in to tell them something they already know. 

And it doesn't matter why someone forgot their badge or why they don't have it in their car.  The fact is they don't have it at that point in time.  Once they have parked, once they realize they don't have it and once a stranger notices it is missing there is nothing to be done.  We're talking about people being confronted when their badge is missing/not visible.  We've already crossed the bridge of what someone should have done.  If people always had it in their car or never forgot it this would not be an issue, but life happens and there you go. 

Or is it the idea that people you visually assess as not looking disabled and not having the placard displayed so you can see it are probably not actually disabled and taking the spot from someone who does need it?  Again, I don't think the majority of these individuals are unaware of the purpose of handicapped parking.  They probably know, but are parking there anyway.  Just like smokers know smoking is unhealthy and don't need strangers making them aware of the fact.

I respect reserved parking and understand the frustration, but there are other outlets available for addressing the issue that don't involve a confrontation based upon a missing placard and how disabled or not someone looks to you.

Margo

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #46 on: January 23, 2014, 08:53:27 AM »
I don't think that approaching it by saying to someone "excuse me, did you realise you're using the handicapped parking space?" is rude.

To me, it is similar to speaking to someone if you see them parking in any other way which will inconvenience others, such as blocking a pavement or ramp.

Some people are selfish and entitled and will react with a 'so what?', others will have genuinely not noticed or realised.

Some will have the attitude that 'it is not a big deal', or will 'not see the issue' in which case evidence of social disapproval may well prompt a change in attitude.

Of course, some people in this situation will have a non-obvious disability, which is why I think it would be rude to push the issue , but I don't think an initial comment, politely phrased, to draw to a person's attention that they are in the wrong place is rude.

I do not think that letting someone know their behaviour is rude or inappropriate is automatically rude.

perpetua

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #47 on: January 23, 2014, 10:17:00 AM »

As it happens, you can't always tell by looking at my FIL that he has Parkinson's.  Some days are better than others and a lot of his pain is a side effect of the medication he takes to control it.  Now, as much as it would pain him to hear it, you can tell by looking at him that he is elderly.  What surprises me though is that in this thread and others like it in the past on e-hell, invisible disabilities are emphasized as a reason not to confront individuals over their handicapped parking use.  So to understand, the position of some people is that it is okay to confront people who don't "look disabled" provided they don't have the tag in their vehicle?

Where I live, if you are not displaying your blue badge you are using the space inappropriately, because you are *not* allowed to use it if you don't display your badge while parked there. The 'but he might have an invisible disability' does not come into it. Great, if you've got an invisible disability, park your car, display your badge, and everyone's good. Actually, whether you are disabled or not doesn't actually come into it. You're not allowed to park there without displaying your badge, end of story.


Tabby Uprising

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #48 on: January 23, 2014, 10:26:35 AM »

As it happens, you can't always tell by looking at my FIL that he has Parkinson's.  Some days are better than others and a lot of his pain is a side effect of the medication he takes to control it.  Now, as much as it would pain him to hear it, you can tell by looking at him that he is elderly.  What surprises me though is that in this thread and others like it in the past on e-hell, invisible disabilities are emphasized as a reason not to confront individuals over their handicapped parking use.  So to understand, the position of some people is that it is okay to confront people who don't "look disabled" provided they don't have the tag in their vehicle?

Where I live, if you are not displaying your blue badge you are using the space inappropriately, because you are *not* allowed to use it if you don't display your badge while parked there. The 'but he might have an invisible disability' does not come into it. Great, if you've got an invisible disability, park your car, display your badge, and everyone's good. Actually, whether you are disabled or not doesn't actually come into it. You're not allowed to park there without displaying your badge, end of story.

Right, but this thread is about whether or not to confront people who are parked there, not the legalities of parking there.  I'm anti-confrontation for the reasons I've already illustrated.

I do get where you're coming from, I really do!  And I'm not an anti-confrontation person in all situations.  I'll speak up if someone cuts in front of me in line!  But I'm just not cozy with the idea of confronting someone in this situation. 

perpetua

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #49 on: January 23, 2014, 10:29:16 AM »

As it happens, you can't always tell by looking at my FIL that he has Parkinson's.  Some days are better than others and a lot of his pain is a side effect of the medication he takes to control it.  Now, as much as it would pain him to hear it, you can tell by looking at him that he is elderly.  What surprises me though is that in this thread and others like it in the past on e-hell, invisible disabilities are emphasized as a reason not to confront individuals over their handicapped parking use.  So to understand, the position of some people is that it is okay to confront people who don't "look disabled" provided they don't have the tag in their vehicle?

Where I live, if you are not displaying your blue badge you are using the space inappropriately, because you are *not* allowed to use it if you don't display your badge while parked there. The 'but he might have an invisible disability' does not come into it. Great, if you've got an invisible disability, park your car, display your badge, and everyone's good. Actually, whether you are disabled or not doesn't actually come into it. You're not allowed to park there without displaying your badge, end of story.

Right, but this thread is about whether or not to confront people who are parked there, not the legalities of parking there.  I'm anti-confrontation for the reasons I've already illustrated.

I do get where you're coming from, I really do!  And I'm not an anti-confrontation person in all situations.  I'll speak up if someone cuts in front of me in line!  But I'm just not cozy with the idea of confronting someone in this situation.

Yes, I know what you're saying, however, what I'm saying is that due to the way the scheme works in my part of the world, if you're parked there incorrectly then you're not above being confronted. It's all tied in.

ETA: I'm wording this quite badly, I think. Pretty much everyone who has a blue badge knows how the scheme works, ie, that you must display your badge at all times while parked in a disabled space. So, here, if you're not displaying a badge and you hop out of the car and run to the cashpoint, odds are you haven't got a badge in the first place, not that you're someone with an invisible disability who mustn't be confronted, is what I'm trying to say. Not displaying a badge is more likely to mean you don't have one than 'this person has an invisible disability'.

Plus, as Margo and various other people have said, confronting people (politely) just isn't seen as rude here in the same way it seems to be in the States.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 10:34:24 AM by perpetua »

Knitterly

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #50 on: January 23, 2014, 11:18:13 AM »
Yes, I know what you're saying, however, what I'm saying is that due to the way the scheme works in my part of the world, if you're parked there incorrectly then you're not above being confronted. It's all tied in.

ETA: I'm wording this quite badly, I think. Pretty much everyone who has a blue badge knows how the scheme works, ie, that you must display your badge at all times while parked in a disabled space. So, here, if you're not displaying a badge and you hop out of the car and run to the cashpoint, odds are you haven't got a badge in the first place, not that you're someone with an invisible disability who mustn't be confronted, is what I'm trying to say. Not displaying a badge is more likely to mean you don't have one than 'this person has an invisible disability'.

Plus, as Margo and various other people have said, confronting people (politely) just isn't seen as rude here in the same way it seems to be in the States.

I do see what you are saying.  The original poster's profile lists her as being in the U.S., where confronting a stranger is generally not as widely accepted.  I, myself, am from Canada, where confronting a stranger is typically seen as flat out rude.  So it is very probable that different cultural expectations are coming into play in how people are perceiving the level of rudeness here.

I also want to clarify - I in no way support the misuse and/or abuse of disabled parking spaces.  They are a necessity for so many people and a legally protected right. 

I'm just not sure about the wisdom or politeness of confronting a stranger when there is a safer means of ensuring the law-breaker is caught and punished, and I do believe that law breakers ought to be punished - harshly! 

Here, at least, the police actively discourage do-gooders from confronting do-badders, and instead actively encourage them to call the non-emergency line.

English1

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #51 on: January 23, 2014, 11:19:18 AM »
I heard about some disabled people carrying little postcards to leave on windows of cars taking up disabled spots without a blue badge. They say something like 'you've got my parking space. Would you like my disability too?'

acicularis

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #52 on: January 23, 2014, 11:21:02 AM »
My daughter is in a wheelchair, so this is a hot button issue for me. I am infuriated by the selfishness and arrogance of people who think they are just so important that their convenience trumps everything else.

I used to confront people, either by saying "Excuse me, do you realize that you're parked in a handicapped spot?" or "Excuse me, did you forget to put up your placard? You're in a handicapped spot." Some people responded with indifference or "mind your own business," or "It's only for a few minutes!" I'd like to think that some of them later reflected on their actions and changed their behavior, but of course I have no way of knowing.

I used to leave notes sometimes, too, saying "Please don't park in the handicapped spot without a permit. You're taking the spot from someone who really needs it."

I stopped confronting people, because I don't know if it made any difference, and I also wondered how wise it was to confront people and risk engaging some serious craziness. I've never bothered calling the police either, because I figured the car would be gone by the time police got there.

I don't know that confronting people is automatically rude, but I'm also not sure it is very effective either.


RegionMom

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #53 on: January 23, 2014, 11:31:47 AM »
"Are you aware that this is company X parking only?"

"Are you aware that all parked vehicles on this street must have local resident sticker?"

"Are you aware that this is  Event parking only, permit only?"

"Are you aware that if you park in this lot, you must display the receipt on your dash?"


All of the above are parking situations that are simply a reminder to check that you are indeed, in the right spot, with proper stickers/receipts, etc...

When we go to a park or camping, we must display a card on the dash with the dates we are staying displayed.

It is not a big deal.

Toss in the,

"Are you aware that this is a handicapped spot?"

and it somehow becomes offensive? 

I admit I rarely see the handicapped spots in use, so have not had to really look if a placard is displayed or not.  I guess I live in a polite town.

but I still cannot see that someone with a legal right to the spot would be offended at the question.  Tired, maybe annoyed,  but not..."offended, how dare you remind me?!?!?"

And I can see someone taking advantage of the, "will only be a minute, two more spots left, I pay taxes, who cares?  MYOB" would be offended because they know they are committing an offense. 
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

nutraxfornerves

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #54 on: January 23, 2014, 11:49:34 AM »
Mr. Nutrax used a wheelchair and did not drive. Since he occasionally took taxis, his placard lived on the front doorknob instead of in my car. I developed a bad habit of automatically pulling into disable spots when he was not in the car. I usually caught myself & moved, but one time I was preoccupied and got out of the car, my appearance very much that of someone without a disability. A man driving by stopped his car and politely said "Excuse me, you forgot to put up the placard." Oops! I immediately moved the car.

I had to park much farther away and while I was walking to the store, I spotted the man in the spot, assisting someone into a wheelchair. I appreciated the tactful way he confronted me, getting his point across, without implying that I was not entitled to park there. I don't know if a snowflake would respond to that with "tough, buddy, I'll park where i want" or not.

Nutrax
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Surianne

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #55 on: January 23, 2014, 12:49:14 PM »
I'm with Knitterly on this one.  I don't believe it's possible to know for sure that someone isn't disabled, and so I think it's quite rude to confront someone in this type of situation. 

I've seen it happen to a family member who has MS--her symptoms are not always obvious, and she says it's really hurtful to have strangers attempt to determine whether she's disabled enough.  Apparently it happens to her fairly regularly, whether she has the placard up or is getting it out of her purse.

So I think it's better to call and report it, rather than confront a person.  There's too much of a risk that you'll ruin an actually disabled person's day.



JeanFromBNA

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #56 on: January 23, 2014, 12:54:00 PM »
OP here.  I want to make clear that I never thought that she "wasn't disabled enough."  I couldn't even see her until I got around her vehicle to go in the store. 

I have presumed that in most places in the U.S., you have to have plates or a hang tag in order to legally park in handicapped spaces.  Is that incorrect?  Is it sufficient to be disabled, and if so, how is that determined?  It would help to get clarification about the process. 

Many years ago, I called handicapped parking to the attention of a man who had just gotten out of his vehicle that was parked in a handicapped space.  In that case, it was a dark parking garage and the spaces were poorly marked and hard to see.  He thanked me, and moved his vehicle.

This time, I was thinking "More illegal handicapped parking in a place where people really need it!"  The market carries a lot of vitamins and supplements and is popular with people who are seriously ill. 

Surianne

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #57 on: January 23, 2014, 01:24:19 PM »
Jean, I'm not in the US, so maybe that's why our opinions differ.  In Canada, at least where I am (Ontario) the placard is removable and transferrable between cars.  So my aunt who needs accessible parking spots carries her placard with her in her purse, because sometimes she's using "her" car and sometimes her husband's.  When she gets to the parking space, she puts it on her dashboard.  So she's been confronted when she hasn't pulled out the sign yet.  When my father needed accessible parking (knee replacements) he too operated in that fashion, carrying the sign between three different cars.

If in the U.S. the accessible parking symbol is on a license plate and not removable, than I can understand how you would feel more confident that the person isn't allowed to park there.  But where I am I absolutely would not confront someone.  I think it's extremely rude, invading someone's privacy, and can be hurtful. 

ShadowLady

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #58 on: January 23, 2014, 01:32:28 PM »
I am someone who has MS, and a handicapped placard for both my car and my husband's car when I am riding in it. It took my dr several months of urging for me to actually get it, because when I applied for it, I had no trouble walking.  Now I use a cane, and tire easily, so really appreciate the placard.

I have thought for years, before I even needed one, that I should see if the police would deputize me to write out tickets for people illegaling parking in handicapped spaces. because I see it all the time.  I would be only too happy to hand out cards like English1 mentioned.

White Lotus

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #59 on: January 23, 2014, 01:47:10 PM »
Yes.  You have your disabled plates or your tag in the US or you may not park there.  If I forget my parking pass, I do not use a handicapped space.  Period.  You are not supposed to use the pass if the person on whose disability it is based is not in the car, but that's really honor system.  There is no way to tell. If you know for sure (your neighbor's kid who is a star basketball forward using a parental pass) take pictures and send them to the cops.  Or the coach.

I have the pass, but if there is another space I can reasonably use, I use it, and this not an uncommon attitude among pass holders.  The presence or absence of the pass is determinative, and not open to negotiation, hair-splitting or debate.  It seems to be fairly normal around here for people to make the polite assumption that someone hasn't put their pass up yet, and say "don't forget your pass.  This store really enforces and those tickets are expensive."  That anyone would dream of answering "oh, we'll just be a few minutes", and they do, is enough to make my blood boil.  Parking around here is at a premium, and very often there are no other places at all.  No, SS, the rules aren't for everybody but precious little you.  No, everyone who does have a pass doesn't have to circle and wait for your entitled little self.   Block 'em in, take  a picture, call the cops, get security.  They might evade a ticket today, but at least they might hesitate before they do it again at that place.  I don't think etiquette requires me to conspire in breaking a law.