Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Disability Parking

Why Disability Parking?
Disability parking is not a special privilege, but a necessity. The spaces are needed to give people with mobility limitations the same opportunities to use public or private facilities as people who do not have disabilities.
Because some people cannot walk, or because a visible or hidden impairment makes walking difficult or hazardous, people with disabilities are at a disadvantage. This is particularly true in winter if disability parking is not provided or is left obstructed.
Disability parking spaces also provide extra space for people in wheelchairs when getting in and out of a vehicle.

Understand that misuse comes with consequences.

Non-certified persons who park in disability parking spaces can be fined from $100-$200
Hmm, I can't even tell you a time when I've seen this law enforced. I remember driving before this mattered so much to me, it wouldn't even occur to me to use one of these spots.
Unfortunately, since September 2009 I have witnessed a least ten out right violations at the Community Center where Dermot attends school four days a week. One woman in her late forties even parked in a spot right up front, while she attended a yoga class. Most of the women I've seen are moms dropping of their toddlers in the cold and the snow. I imagine they use that as an excuse and the fact that they'll "only be a few minutes" makes it okay.
I think not. You see, having a child with disabilites affords me VERY few luxuries, but having a parking spot available to me is one "luxury" I have absolutely earned.
So the next time you see someone parking where they're not supposed to I invite you to do the non-Minnesotan thing and confront them. I do every time and do they ever feel awful after I ask them if their legs work and if their children's legs work...

Thanks for indulging my angry rant...

1 comment:

Liz said...

I totally agree. I actually called 911 when a guy who was clearly not disabled and had no hangtag or license plate, parked in a handicap spot at a gas station. He did leave before I finished my call with the police, but they were very happy to take my call and told me to feel free to use 911 again for such a purpose. They can easily direct my call to the appropriate office.