Thursday, December 10, 2009

So You CAN Walk?

This is what I wanted to say to the girl I saw park in a handicap parking spot today that clearly was not handicapped.  Does that burn anyone else up as much as it burns me up?  It has always bothered me but it seems like it does even more so now.  I don't know if it's because I have a child who may need to park in that spot one day or if it's just because I have gotten older and know more people who have a legitimate need for a handicapped spot or both but it REALLY bothers me.  I just don't understand why some people feel like they are special enough to break the rules and make it harder for other people.

I had professor (who had no obvious disability) once who's car I saw parked in a handicap spot.  I couldn't see the front of her car so I wasn't sure if she had a tag or not so I asked her about it when I got to class.  I had this professor a few times and we spoke and emailed outside of class once in a while so I was comfortable with mentioning it.  She told me that she had a breathing disorder (not asthma) that kept her from being able to walk long distances or over exerting herself.  And she also had a tag hanging.  That was totally understandable and I was so glad when she told me that because I was afraid my idea of the type of person she was would be ruined.  Although I am not glad that she has the problem of course!

But this girl today, she was in her late teens or early twenties, had no tag.  And she definitely did not have a breathing problem.  She got out of her car in her high heels and practically ran into the mall because it was so cold out.  So if she did have a breathing problem she would have passed out I'm quite sure.

But the kicker to the whole story is that I am pretty sure she KNEW she had done something wrong (not just legally but morally).  When she got out of the car she walked around and looked down like she was looking at the color of the lines.  And then she looked around to see if anyone was watching and she kinda just stood there like she was deciding what she should do.  Obviously she didn't find it to be that big of a deal because she then started on her sprint inside. 

I thought about all of the people who may have needed that spot that instead may have had to park hundreds of spaces away because there were no handicap spots free.  It was so cold and windy today.  I thought of a mother with a small child that was wheel chair bound having to push their child that far in the cold.  Ugh!

I so badly wanted to say something.  I was sooooooo close.  But for some reason I didn't.  I guess I didn't want to cause a scene or look like an idiot if there was in fact a legitimate reason she was parked there.  Although I can think of none. 

So what would you have done?  Nothing?  Said something?  Called the cops?  I would love to hear from some other people on the subject.

And PLEASE don't park in a handicap spot if you don't need to.


  1. This annoys me like you wouldn't believe. There is a HUGE fine for those who park in handicap spots illegally. My aunt is disabled and she counts on those spots or she can't get her shopping done.

    I would like to think I'd say something really snappy but I hate confrontation so I'd likely say something really loudly as though I was talking to my shopping-mate.

  2. I probably wouldn't have said anything, only because I'd be scared of the confrontation.

    I can't even imagine parking in the handicapped spot if I didn't need it. Recently, when getting ready for a wedding, we had an entire building rented to get ready. I couldn't even park in the blue spots there because I felt bad about it. Even though the entire building and parking lot was ours and no one there needed it. I just felt too guilty to do it.

  3. Sorry you experienced this. What I would suggest next time is getting the license plate, then giving the plate to the manager and asking him/her to call the police for you. That way you don't have to wait around for the squad to arrive.

    Yes, it is a very expensive fine and even a towable offense in some states. Hope this helps.

  4. I like what Cop Mama said. I am not confrontational(sp?). I have never noticed someone not handicap parking in one of those but dh's cousin had a liver transplant and could not walk far for a long time. So he had a tag. And he would give it to friends when they were going to a game or some big event at areana type thing. I was like come on you can walk and you are healthy be thankful.
    I have seen many times people park in the expectant mothers or mothers with children. That bothers me. Maybe because I have young children and parking lots scare me with them.
    But one time I was parking in one of them( I had both kids with me) and the lady next to me was loading up to leave, she also had a young child with her. And two woman pulled into the spot next to her. Um yea no children. Whatever, I start to pull out of my spot to leave and this lady next to me goes up to the two woman and is like these spots are for people with young children and one of them was like -lady mind your business. But this woman would not she kept going on how she should not be parking there and the other woman kept saying- mind your business -mind your business. I had to pull back in my spot to watch this unfold. They went at it for a minute maybe two and the two woman without any children eventually walked away. But I was like I wish I had the guts to say something!!

    Ok thats my story!!

  5. This drives me nuts! I had a friend get one when she was pregnant because she told her doctor she was just to tired to walk. No medical worries about going into labor early or anything like that she just wanted one and he gave it to her.

    I have a sticker because my child is in a wheelchair but I never park in it when he's not with me and if I notice that there's only a couple of spaces available I park somewhere else because I am able bodied.

    It's harder for me to do that dragging a two year old and pushing a wheelchair while my absent minded 6 year old is walking in the middle of the lane but I'd rather someone who isn't capable of doing that take a spot they really need.

    If they are all open then I use them. Let's face it it is easier for me especially when it's 5 degrees outside.

    My SIL took my MIL tag that she had after she had a knee replacement. It made me so mad. She said "Well I stubbed my toe and it really hurt" It took everything I had not to yell at both of them. My MIL for giving it to her and my SIL for being so arrogant.

    Anyway obviously it's a sore spot with me. I've never done anything about it but I think maybe I will write down a license plate # the next time I see it happen

  6. It ticks me off also! I never say anything to anyone when I see them do it.

  7. this irrates me too, but yet when I do park in one I only park there when needed for the person that us with me that needs it. My hubby looks normal but yet is legally blind and cannot see more than 5 -6 feet, he also has grand mals, Parking in the back 40 is very difficult as he has no sense of direction,

    My mom also has one, looks normals, a few years ago, parked ina spot and some guy started chewing out my mom for parking there, what he did not know is she had a pacemaker and breathing issues,

    The only time I have ever parked in a handicapped is when I was picking up my hubby from his job (store closed at 5 he got off at 5), I had to go to the store next door, I came back out and he was waiting in the car since I was able to tell him and he could count right to the car.

  8. I agree that it is not right to park there unless you have a tag or sign. My dad has a form of genetic emphysema and cannot walk very far at once. He has a placard and uses it accordingly. But for the most part he looks normal. But he does walk slow and needs oxygen sometimes so some days it is more obvious. But there are times when there are no handicap spots available and we usually resort to dropping him at the curb, going and parking then meeting him at the curb. Then going to get the car when we come back out. It isn't hugely inconvenient but he does get upset sometimes especially since he has a legitimate placard. if you don't have one don't park there. If someone does have one, but doesn't look disabled I wouldn't question because there are many rather debilitating diseases that have no outward signs to the normal eye. Hope you don't have to experience this again. Now or later when your daughter perhaps will have a sign.

  9. I can't stand it either! My grandfather had a tag when he was alive and driving because he had a really hard time walking. My grandMOTHER used it once, when my grandfather was NOT with her, and I spoke to her about it. She didn't care. I was totally annoyed!

    I wouldn't have the guts, I don't think, to say something in public. I am always afraid someone is going to pull out a gun and shoot me. You never know with people these days. Anything can set them off, and knowing me, I would say it to the wrong person!

  10. We have a young adult in the family with spina bifida. At one time we had stickers and placards made up to keep in our cars that said, "Your Handicap Must Be Mental." I think I'll revive that and create some more since it irks so many. All of you - please feel free to take this idea and run with it. Keep them in your cars and tape them to the driver's window.

  11. Marilyn, that is HILARIOUS!!!! I'm going to have to make some of those signs.

  12. I do agree that unless the tag belongs to the person, there is no excuse! However, I feel like people stare at me all the time. I have two tags, one for me and one for my daughter. Obviously I don't physically hang them both, but I own two! My daughter is in a wheelchair, and I have a severe back condition. I probably appear physically fine, but I can't walk far and if it acts up, I am DONE. I need to be close enough to hobble to the car or I'm stuck. It's hard to tell for a lot of disabilities ... but ugh I hate when someone parks and RUNS in. Obviously they're fine!

  13. I do try to keep in mind that some people do not have visible handicaps but you're right. When they RUN they're fine!

  14. I try and not pass judgment. We don't ever know what is going on in someones life. Even running isn't really a good indicator of health. She might have cancer {my cousin could run when she went through teen cancer} or I have a friend with MS, and she appears physically to be in great health and people have treated her really bad for legitimate parking in the handicapped parking when she genuinely needed it. I always do the right thing, and I try to not let it bother me if someone else chooses not to, and really we don't know if she needed to be there or not.

    Even with that said, illness or not the girl should have had a tag if she needed it, so no matter what she was in the wrong.

  15. Next time if there is no placard or decal, call the cops. Let them handle it. If she has a handicap that you can't see, she has a placard on that car somewhere. Otherwise, she pays a huge fine. If you are unsure of the number, go to the mall office and have them call mall security. That girl may have had a handicap you couldn't see, but if she did, she would have had a tag. If not, she'll get one after that first fee.