Author Topic: Confronted handicapped parking abuse  (Read 11599 times)

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RooRoo

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #75 on: January 24, 2014, 10:29:33 PM »
When I "catch someone in the act," I don't confront them; I just loudly but nicely say, "Ma'am? You forgot your hangtag!"

In 100% of cases so far - meaning, one  :) - they went back to the vehicle and hung the tag.

And I was parked right next to them, with my own tag & my own invisible disability; I don't make assumptions!

Yes, I scan for tags. A few times, I've had to go home instead of shopping, due to all the handicapped spots being taken. About half the time, there were one or more cars there without handicapped tags.
"Someday we must write a book of Etiquette for sensible people," said Mrs. Morland, "though apart from a few rules it really boils down to an educated mind and a kind heart." ~ Angela Thirkell, Never Too Late

Psychopoesie

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #76 on: January 25, 2014, 12:45:39 AM »
That makes sense.  Thanks for not taking offense!

No worries.  :)

Polly

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #77 on: January 25, 2014, 12:28:30 PM »
When I "catch someone in the act," I don't confront them; I just loudly but nicely say, "Ma'am? You forgot your hangtag!"

In 100% of cases so far - meaning, one  :) - they went back to the vehicle and hung the tag.

And I was parked right next to them, with my own tag & my own invisible disability; I don't make assumptions!

Yes, I scan for tags. A few times, I've had to go home instead of shopping, due to all the handicapped spots being taken. About half the time, there were one or more cars there without handicapped tags.

I think this solution is excellent, because you aren't accusing them of anything, merely helping. And because it isn't a question, it doesn't require any answer other than 'Thank you', if they have indeed forgotten it.

That must be super-annoying having to go home and ditch your plans because of people using these spaces illegally. I am quite surprised it is so common.

Before reading this thread I would have thought it was probably ok to load/unload in a handicapped spot, because you can move should someone need it - my thinking was that, like a handicapped bathroom, the important thing is that the accessible facilities are there, and well, sometimes a handicapped person might have to wait a few seconds just as sometimes anyone has to wait. But as someone pointed out up-thread, if it were acceptable to park so long as you were still with the car, it leaves it open to abuse. People will be 'just' loading or unloading for 'just' five minutes twenty times a day, or leaving someone sitting in the car while they 'just' run an errand. Not that I would have parked in a handicapped space to load or unload - I am very fit and healthy, I tend to park as far away from the store as possible anyway as there are generally  more free spots and it is easier to get in and out quickly. But If I had seen someone doing as OP described I wouldn't necessarily have thought it was a problem so long as she moved the car promptly if someone did need the space. Having read the thread I've changed my mind - no badge, no parking.



ChinaShepherdess

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #78 on: January 25, 2014, 12:47:56 PM »
[snip]

 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.

Before I read this thread, I would have assumed that it would be impolite under any circumstances to call someone out for "not looking handicapped" in a handicapped spot, and that the only proper course of action would be to call the police non-emergency number. I stand corrected, though! I really like the phrasing "Excuse me, you forgot to put up the placard!" and all of the similar variations that posters have suggested.

The thing I like about it that undoes the rudeness of just plain calling someone out is that the phrasing works under the assumptions that: 1) the driver does realize it's a handicapped spot; 2) the driver would not lie about handicapped status or otherwise try to weasel a spot that s/he oughtn't have access to; 3) the driver's physical capabilities are none of your business; 4) you have kindly fellow-human feelings toward the driver and do not want him/her to get a ticket.

All four of those assumptions are kind and excellent, so I think that phrase is a pitch-perfect way to address someone you see parking in a handicapped space without plates/placards. (Of course, if you see a car with no plates/placards and no driver in sight, I think it's appropriate to talk to management or call non-emergency number.)

TootsNYC

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #79 on: January 25, 2014, 03:01:33 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.


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.

The person upstream who spoke of this said that she *did* go to court, because that is where she produced her tag.

I love the "Stupidity Penalty." What a concept!

mbbored

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #80 on: January 25, 2014, 08:58:34 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.

I love having a name for this concept! Sometimes in life you just mess up and as an adult, there's often a price to pay. Sometimes that price is expensive but we all have our burdens to bear.

MrsVandy

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #81 on: January 26, 2014, 12:55:00 AM »
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.

I totally agree. I wanted to say this but couldn't think of a good way :) DH has a pass and has been known to leave it in the wrong car. So far he's never gotten a stupid penalty, because so far he's remembered to check. I would hope that someone would remind him nicely like "Oh you forget your pass" so that he doesn't ever get a ticket he has to fight.




Surianne

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #82 on: January 27, 2014, 04:03:05 PM »
And I had the opposite reaction to that post -- I think that as a stranger it's rude to consider someone stupid and in need of chastisement if they've forgotten their placard or haven't removed it from their purse/glove compartment yet. 

TurtleDove

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #83 on: January 27, 2014, 04:15:28 PM »
I tend to be a MYOB person unless I am directly affected.  I will stick up for myself and my loved ones, and for someone who asks me for help.  Otherwise, I assume other people are smart enough to ask for help from me if they want it.  I mean, I will hold the door for people, or pick something up and hand it to someone if they have dropped something, but I am not going to presume that I know everything to know about a situation and get involved when it does not directely involve me. I don't know whether the able bodied person without a placard who parked in the handicapped spot is picking up their pregnant wife who just went into labor in the store.  Not that that is a technically "legal" use of the handicapped spot, but it certainly would leave me feeling silly if I confronted the guy.

I suppose I might let an establishment know that I suspect their handicapped spots are being abused, but then I would leave it to the authorities. Overall, I think confronting people makes the confronter feel superior but does little to correct a situation.

nayberry

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #84 on: January 27, 2014, 04:21:39 PM »

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.

this is only enforcable in council run car parks,  supermarket carparks are not regulated in the same way so you do not need a badge to park in the disabled spots.  (in the same way parking "fines" in the uk aren't enforcable unless in a council carpark)
although anyone who parked in a disabled one who didn't need it is a jerk, not everyone has a tag/badge. 

my great uncle should have applied for one but by the time his mobility was bad enough that he'd admit the need, he was already staying in a care home.  if dad had taken him to the shops, he would have needed the disabled spaces as g/u couldn't have walked far. 


rashea

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #85 on: January 27, 2014, 04:52:15 PM »
I spent 5 years using a wheelchair before finally getting enough pain relief to walk again. I still "confront" people about this. Usually it's a quick "hey, that's a hc spot." I've also been confronted, and harassed. Here's my take. If someone has a tag, I let them be. If not, I point out that they are in a hc spot and let their response dictate the conversation from there. People doing this to me never bothered me. What is a problem is when someone decides that a person with a tag doesn't deserve one. Unless you are a doctor, stay out of that one.

As for people who feel it doesn't effect them. Maybe not now, but you never know. I went from being an athlete to disabled in a short period of time in high school, so age wasn't a factor. Finally, you (generic) may only be there for a minute, but in the meantime I looked from the road, saw all the spots full, and decided I would do without whatever I was going to buy at the store. And to member this is exactly the same as racism and homophobia.
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TurtleDove

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #86 on: January 27, 2014, 05:09:27 PM »
The reason why I would alert the establishment rather than confront someone (as an aside, I have never been in a position where I could confront someone over this, but anyway) is because people know whether they are handicapped or not.  A person who will park in a handicapped spot is not likely big on etiquette or what other people think of their behavior.  They likely would conclude that I want them to vacate the spot so I can park there.  I cannot issue a ticket or do anything aside from shame the person and possibly end up in an altercation.  Having the establishment contact authorities or make an announcement over the loudspeaker is far more likely to result in the spot being left open for actually handicapped people.

What I meant by not affecting me or by only helping people who asked for help is that if I had a handicapped placard and wanted to immediately use a space I saw someone without the placard just pull into, I wolud politely ask them to vacate the spot because I need to use it and I validly can while they cannot.  If someone with a handicapped placard asked for my help in doing this I would also help. 

MrsVandy

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #87 on: January 27, 2014, 06:13:32 PM »
I agree with rashea's post. Dh gets bothered when people tell him he can't park there when his permit is out, not when his permit isn't displayed. Around here its a $300 ticket if you forget to put out your permit that you'll waste a whole day in court fighting.

As a side note We know a lady who was known to forget to display her permit (she did have one) so she'd have to go in all the time to fight it. Well after a few times of seeing her in court one judge wouldn't waive it. He let it stick to teach her not to waste others time and to properly use her permit.

So a gentle "Hey your permit isn't displayed" is okay as far as DH and I are concerned. It the people who question his disability and say he can't park there when his permit is displayed.




ladyknight1

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #88 on: January 27, 2014, 06:25:03 PM »
As someone who has a mostly invisible disability, I thank you for saying something. I shop at a few places where handicapped parking spaces are at a minimum and there are many disabled people in my area. If I see a car without a placard or license plate, I will tell the staff at the customer service desk and let them handle it.

We have many entitled people in my area, and few that honestly forget their placard.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Confronted handicapped parking abuse
« Reply #89 on: January 27, 2014, 06:28:49 PM »
I think a nice "I think you forgot to hang your tag." Is a perfectly polite comment to make.

Saying " do you know your parked in a handicapped spot?" Implies you have already passed judgement. If the response to your question is "yes, I do know," are you then going to query more about why?

The OPs description of the woman, her car, and her feelings about the newer neighborhood residents does support that she had already passed judgement and made assumptions about the woman. And while we all do this, I don't believe it is polite to voice your assumptions.