Author Topic: Confronted handicapped parking abuse  (Read 11573 times)

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jaxsue

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #60 on: January 23, 2014, 02:15:08 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.

The removable placard is quite common in the states, too. In fact, it's more common than the license tag. I had a temp placard (red) and just carried it in my purse. My mom has a permanent placard (blue) and does the same thing. Ours hang on the mirror, usually. They're quite visible that way.

DavidH

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #61 on: January 23, 2014, 02:29:36 PM »
If you are going to address it, reminding them it's a handicapped space seems the way to go.  It makes the point and is not nearly as confrontational as some other methods.  If the person has an invisible disability and has forgotten their tag or something of that nature, then they can either ignore the person, move their car, or explain the situation.  If they don't want to risk someone reminding them, they can follow the law and bring their tag.  Although I have no data, I suspect it is more common that the person parking without displaying a tag is parking illegally, rather than someone with an invisible disability who has forgotten their tag.

Yvaine

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #62 on: January 23, 2014, 02:31:05 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.

The removable placard is quite common in the states, too. In fact, it's more common than the license tag. I had a temp placard (red) and just carried it in my purse. My mom has a permanent placard (blue) and does the same thing. Ours hang on the mirror, usually. They're quite visible that way.

This. I had a friend who was temporarily disabled after knee surgery, and she had a hang tag.

sunnygirl

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #63 on: January 23, 2014, 02:37:08 PM »
Thing is, the police are not going to care if someone is genuinely disabled and have just forgotten to display their tag, all they care about is the fact they are breaking the law. If someone's advocating calling the police anytime you see a car without a disabled badge because the law is the law regardless, that's one thing. But making the argument that calling the police is better than approaching on the grounds of compassion, in case the person is genuinely disabled, seems illogical. I can't believe there's anyone on earth who wouldn't chose a polite 5-second conversation "Hey you know that's a disabled space?/Yep I'm disabled/Okay, sorry to bother you" over being caught breaking the law by police, fined (and here the maximum fine is the equivalent of about $1,600) and maybe getting their car towed.

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.
Well, I think it's important to remember that the very specific hypothetical situation (a person with an invisible disability who forgot their badge that day) that this thread has created/focused on probably represents a tiny % of people illegally parking in disabled bays. Tons of able-bodied people abuse those spaces and educating them absolutely does work - no, not every time, but it can and does make a huge difference. Even if someone responds angrily and defensively it can still subconsciously reverse the normalising psychological phenomenon and perhaps they'll think twice.



I definitely agree it's a cultural thing. I think in the UK we have a culture of having to have strict manners, and sort of having to self-police in a precise, socially-structured, non-inflammatory way. Due to being a tiny, densely populated island. Whereas big, relatively sparsely populated countries lead to more personal freedom (and expectation of personal freedom) but also can lead to less exposure to alternative lifestyles and thus less tolerance. Compare a big city to a remote rural area. There's this whole anthropological set of theories about it. Shh mentioned something really interesting, about small groups of people in the US who do very vocally attack those whose beliefs or behaviours they disagree with. I.e. anti-gay protests. That sort of thing is rare in the UK - sociologically that system wouldn't be sustainable in this environment. But otoh it's absolutely the norm to pass condemnation - in a specific, non-aggressive and oh so British way - on people who commit intrusive etiquette sins (like putting your bag on a seat on a crowded train, littering, queue-jumping). I think maybe in the US the idea of being "confronted" (I do notice it's mostly US posters using that word) over anything is just scarier because it's at one extreme or the other, whereas for us it's a gentle everyday thing.

jaxsue

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #64 on: January 23, 2014, 02:51:53 PM »
Thing is, the police are not going to care if someone is genuinely disabled and have just forgotten to display their tag, all they care about is the fact they are breaking the law. If someone's advocating calling the police anytime you see a car without a disabled badge because the law is the law regardless, that's one thing. But making the argument that calling the police is better than approaching on the grounds of compassion, in case the person is genuinely disabled, seems illogical. I can't believe there's anyone on earth who wouldn't chose a polite 5-second conversation "Hey you know that's a disabled space?/Yep I'm disabled/Okay, sorry to bother you" over being caught breaking the law by police, fined (and here the maximum fine is the equivalent of about $1,600) and maybe getting their car towed.

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.
Well, I think it's important to remember that the very specific hypothetical situation (a person with an invisible disability who forgot their badge that day) that this thread has created/focused on probably represents a tiny % of people illegally parking in disabled bays. Tons of able-bodied people abuse those spaces and educating them absolutely does work - no, not every time, but it can and does make a huge difference. Even if someone responds angrily and defensively it can still subconsciously reverse the normalising psychological phenomenon and perhaps they'll think twice.



I definitely agree it's a cultural thing. I think in the UK we have a culture of having to have strict manners, and sort of having to self-police in a precise, socially-structured, non-inflammatory way. Due to being a tiny, densely populated island. Whereas big, relatively sparsely populated countries lead to more personal freedom (and expectation of personal freedom) but also can lead to less exposure to alternative lifestyles and thus less tolerance. Compare a big city to a remote rural area. There's this whole anthropological set of theories about it. Shh mentioned something really interesting, about small groups of people in the US who do very vocally attack those whose beliefs or behaviours they disagree with. I.e. anti-gay protests. That sort of thing is rare in the UK - sociologically that system wouldn't be sustainable in this environment. But otoh it's absolutely the norm to pass condemnation - in a specific, non-aggressive and oh so British way - on people who commit intrusive etiquette sins (like putting your bag on a seat on a crowded train, littering, queue-jumping). I think maybe in the US the idea of being "confronted" (I do notice it's mostly US posters using that word) over anything is just scarier because it's at one extreme or the other, whereas for us it's a gentle everyday thing.

I see what you're saying, but honestly, the USA is so large, and so diverse, that it isn't as clear cut as that. I live near NYC, in an area that's quite diverse. It's also one of the most densely-populated regions of the country, so TBH it's quite like it is where you are (judging by your description). Where I live, it's the norm for people to speak up regarding the things you list. Other places I've lived in the states...not so much.

MOM21SON

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #65 on: January 23, 2014, 05:27:37 PM »
My mum has a handicapped tag because of mobility issues. I use it when I'm driving her to appointments or taking her shopping. Sometimes I drop her off first, then go hang out for a handicapped parking spot. The permit here goes on the dash and is easy enough to overlook. No one's confronted me about parking there so far thankfully - as a healthy looking person using that spot, I've often felt self-conscious about it even though I knew I was in the clear. I'd be embarrassed and somewhat offended if some stranger came up and started questioning me about parking there.

Misuse of the spots makes me really really really livid. There is no excuse. One of the local news blogs captured a lot of bad parking pics over the years, many with I tagged cars sitting in handicapped spots. The worst were of a local politician who was caught on more than one occasion parking there in her official car (her name was blazoned all over it). As far as I know she got off scot free which makes me burn.

However, I agree with knitterly - if I had any doubts about someone's right to park there, think it's best to take a pic and report it to the relevant authorities. Because I might be wrong and cause unneeded distress. Or the person might be a nasty piece of work and react violently.

I am curious, why do you park in the handicap spot after you have dropped her off?  If a spot is not open, I drop my mother off, help her out of the car and into whatever, then go park in a regular spot.  Then when we are done, I pick her up where I dropped her off.


Psychopoesie

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #66 on: January 23, 2014, 05:58:01 PM »
My mum has a handicapped tag because of mobility issues. I use it when I'm driving her to appointments or taking her shopping. Sometimes I drop her off first, then go hang out for a handicapped parking spot. The permit here goes on the dash and is easy enough to overlook. No one's confronted me about parking there so far thankfully - as a healthy looking person using that spot, I've often felt self-conscious about it even though I knew I was in the clear. I'd be embarrassed and somewhat offended if some stranger came up and started questioning me about parking there.

Misuse of the spots makes me really really really livid. There is no excuse. One of the local news blogs captured a lot of bad parking pics over the years, many with I tagged cars sitting in handicapped spots. The worst were of a local politician who was caught on more than one occasion parking there in her official car (her name was blazoned all over it). As far as I know she got off scot free which makes me burn.

However, I agree with knitterly - if I had any doubts about someone's right to park there, think it's best to take a pic and report it to the relevant authorities. Because I might be wrong and cause unneeded distress. Or the person might be a nasty piece of work and react violently.

I am curious, why do you park in the handicap spot after you have dropped her off?  If a spot is not open, I drop my mother off, help her out of the car and into whatever, then go park in a regular spot.  Then when we are done, I pick her up where I dropped her off.

Yeah, I sometimes do that too. Depends where we're going and what the parking setup is. Often there's no guarantee the space where I've dropped her off (or anywhere similar) will be still be clear by the time we're finished. So I try to make sure I'm parked somewhere mum can get to. To be clear, I wouldn't pick a handicapped spot to park in if I was just planning to pick her up at the door afterwards.

MOM21SON

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #67 on: January 23, 2014, 05:59:32 PM »
My mum has a handicapped tag because of mobility issues. I use it when I'm driving her to appointments or taking her shopping. Sometimes I drop her off first, then go hang out for a handicapped parking spot. The permit here goes on the dash and is easy enough to overlook. No one's confronted me about parking there so far thankfully - as a healthy looking person using that spot, I've often felt self-conscious about it even though I knew I was in the clear. I'd be embarrassed and somewhat offended if some stranger came up and started questioning me about parking there.

Misuse of the spots makes me really really really livid. There is no excuse. One of the local news blogs captured a lot of bad parking pics over the years, many with I tagged cars sitting in handicapped spots. The worst were of a local politician who was caught on more than one occasion parking there in her official car (her name was blazoned all over it). As far as I know she got off scot free which makes me burn.

However, I agree with knitterly - if I had any doubts about someone's right to park there, think it's best to take a pic and report it to the relevant authorities. Because I might be wrong and cause unneeded distress. Or the person might be a nasty piece of work and react violently.

I am curious, why do you park in the handicap spot after you have dropped her off?  If a spot is not open, I drop my mother off, help her out of the car and into whatever, then go park in a regular spot.  Then when we are done, I pick her up where I dropped her off.

Yeah, I sometimes do that too. Depends where we're going and what the parking setup is. Often there's no guarantee the space where I've dropped her off (or anywhere similar) will be still be clear by the time we're finished. So I try to make sure I'm parked somewhere mum can get to. To be clear, I wouldn't pick a handicapped spot to park in if I was just planning to pick her up at the door afterwards.

That makes sense.  Thanks for not taking offense!

shhh its me

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #68 on: January 24, 2014, 08:01:47 AM »
Thing is, the police are not going to care if someone is genuinely disabled and have just forgotten to display their tag, all they care about is the fact they are breaking the law. If someone's advocating calling the police anytime you see a car without a disabled badge because the law is the law regardless, that's one thing. But making the argument that calling the police is better than approaching on the grounds of compassion, in case the person is genuinely disabled, seems illogical. I can't believe there's anyone on earth who wouldn't chose a polite 5-second conversation "Hey you know that's a disabled space?/Yep I'm disabled/Okay, sorry to bother you" over being caught breaking the law by police, fined (and here the maximum fine is the equivalent of about $1,600) and maybe getting their car towed.


I cant speak for everyone but I am operating under the assumption that here it does make a difference to the police if they are entitled to use the space and forgot the tag or they are not entitled to use the space.

I'm on my way out(so can't find it ) but a poster earlier  in this thread said she has forgotten her tag was ticketed and the fine was waived. I do not think if an officer confronted someone while parking and they produced a tag the officer would issue a ticket.

sunnygirl

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #69 on: January 24, 2014, 08:50:27 AM »
Thing is, the police are not going to care if someone is genuinely disabled and have just forgotten to display their tag, all they care about is the fact they are breaking the law. If someone's advocating calling the police anytime you see a car without a disabled badge because the law is the law regardless, that's one thing. But making the argument that calling the police is better than approaching on the grounds of compassion, in case the person is genuinely disabled, seems illogical. I can't believe there's anyone on earth who wouldn't chose a polite 5-second conversation "Hey you know that's a disabled space?/Yep I'm disabled/Okay, sorry to bother you" over being caught breaking the law by police, fined (and here the maximum fine is the equivalent of about $1,600) and maybe getting their car towed.


I cant speak for everyone but I am operating under the assumption that here it does make a difference to the police if they are entitled to use the space and forgot the tag or they are not entitled to use the space.

I'm on my way out(so can't find it ) but a poster earlier  in this thread said she has forgotten her tag was ticketed and the fine was waived. I do not think if an officer confronted someone while parking and they produced a tag the officer would issue a ticket.
You'd think so, but unfortunately not always. :( I'm sure laws on the subject differ all over the world. In the UK it would still be breaking the law (a quick Google search shows that in at least one state the law is the same as it is here), and you would likely be ticketed even if you just forgot to display the badge or it fell down. There's another forum I go to that has quite a few threads from disabled people who have been ticketed under the circumstance you describe. The consensus is if you go to court to fight it you can probably get it overturned but that's a lot of hassle.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 08:54:19 AM by sunnygirl »

mich3554

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #70 on: January 24, 2014, 10:39:34 AM »
Thing is, the police are not going to care if someone is genuinely disabled and have just forgotten to display their tag, all they care about is the fact they are breaking the law. If someone's advocating calling the police anytime you see a car without a disabled badge because the law is the law regardless, that's one thing. But making the argument that calling the police is better than approaching on the grounds of compassion, in case the person is genuinely disabled, seems illogical. I can't believe there's anyone on earth who wouldn't chose a polite 5-second conversation "Hey you know that's a disabled space?/Yep I'm disabled/Okay, sorry to bother you" over being caught breaking the law by police, fined (and here the maximum fine is the equivalent of about $1,600) and maybe getting their car towed.

Actually, if someone had said something like this to me, I would have saved myself the hassle of getting a $450 ticket repealed because I forgot to put up my placard.  I just had a brain fart as the placard was in the glove compartment and was trying to remember what I was going to the store for!

White Lotus

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #71 on: January 24, 2014, 01:30:16 PM »
Sometimes life carries with it Stupidity Penalties.  Here, if you have a pass, forget to put it up, and can show it to the officer on the spot, the Stupidity Penalty is a lecture and a warning.  If you can't show it and the ticket's issued, you have to go to court to show it, and the hassle is, essentially, the Stupidity Penalty.  If you don't have one, so you can't show the court, you will be paying a big fine and doing quite a lot of community service -- suddenly we have leapt out of Stupid/Forgetful and into the realm of Entitled Meanie. 
Helping others avoid Stupidity Penalties is one reason why it is OK around here to say, "Don't forget to put your pass up!"  Most people have hang tags that have to be taken down for driving.  A reminder comes first, and generally is considered a favor.  My response to that is generally, "Didn't I?  Oh, thanks!"  Or, "No, it is right there, thanks." And if my response is "root....root... oh, dingdangity, I left it in my husband's car/my other bag," well, then, I have to move.  And I do.  People who have the passes know the rules and the consequences.  Others need to learn them.

RegionMom

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #72 on: January 24, 2014, 03:44:22 PM »
http://www.keyetv.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/elderly-woman-jailed-over-round-rock-parking-spot-dispute-15657.shtml

story does not say if the pick-up driver was handicapped or not, but SHE was RUDE!!!!!
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #73 on: January 24, 2014, 04:00:30 PM »
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.

(snip)

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.

So how might the illegally parked woman be addressed if this were occurring in the U.K.?

perpetua

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #74 on: January 24, 2014, 04:21:14 PM »
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.

(snip)

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.

So how might the illegally parked woman be addressed if this were occurring in the U.K.?

I'd probably handle it in much the same way you did, Jean. I might have interjected something about her not displaying her badge after she said 'So?'. I don't think you were impolite, at least not by our standards over here.