I have no problem with deserving people having handicapped parking permits or special parking spaces, (you know what’s coming now) BUT, if you have a permit to park in a handicapped space, DISPLAY IT!! Either have a special license plate, sticker, or placard for the dash. You have been given this privilege, so USE IT!! If you don’t, you should be ticketed!! And don’t give me that “I forgot it” crap. I know of one person who constantly “forgot” to display his card on the dashboard, got ticketed, and went crying to the traffic court judge, and, of course, got off with it. YOU ARE WASTING THE COURT’S TIME!! I think a few fines directed at repeat offenders would solve this problem.
In theory, if you don’t display the sticker or card or whatever, you get ticketed for parking there.
Even if the guy in your example did get off in the end without a fine, he had to go to the court, waste most of a day to plead his case, etc. That’s probably as effective as a fine, in terms of teaching him a lesson. Not as effective as a fine in terms of helping pay for the court system, of course.
You could always travel with a can of spray paint, and when you see a car in a handicapped space with no visible sticker, you could paint on the side of the car, “ARE YOU REALLY HANDICAPPED?” … Tempting, always tempting.
I agree, Trumpy, those special permits are a privilige and “forgetting them” is not an excuse. IMO, those who fail to display them shouild be stuck w/ the fine. It may be an incentive remember the next time!
That said, I must (well, not really, but I will anyway) add a few caveats:
The DMV is sometimes remarkably dense about matching the permit display to the person. Case in point, a furious demand to me to have a car towed because it was parked in a handicapped space w/o a proper permit.
Turns out it belonged to a very old lady who yeah, had a card for the dash but the way the car was parked (hood into a clump of bushes), the card couldn’t be seen. She was driving a land yacht and just wasn’t spry enough to prop the card onto the rear window.
She was fussed and mortified and confused and everyone involved felt like chopped dog shit. In this the permit just didn’t match the mobility of the person. Having a poor old lady in tears, embarrassed and confused, wasn’t what anyone wanted. But that’s the way it shook down.
Sorry, this probably adds more mud to the waters than clarity, but I thought my bad experience could be of use.
I don’t know how it is in other states, but when Oregon used the dashboard placards, they were required to be placed in the front window. Parking patrol was supposed to either look for the reflection of the card in the windshield or get off their butts and go around to the front of the car to doublecheck. Now we use the kind that hang down from the rearview mirror.
“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy
In my younger days, I used to avail myself of handicapped spots. One day as I got out of the car, a self-propelled old man in a wheelchair drove up and said “You don’t look too handicapped - try this!” And that sumbitch whacked me with his cane, right on the knee so hard I almost fell down.
That was funny as hell. I never did that again.
I must point that, although I might qualify for a handicapped permit (the local version is a tag that hangs from the rear-view mirror), I have told my wife, whenever she nags me to get one, “God forbid I should be confused with your mother”.
“Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away.”
LOL! I love it I’m going to have to remember that move; probably more effective than a dirty look
“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy
Yeah, that’s a real ‘knee-slapper’, that is! Funny thing – almost exactly the same thing happened to me. Not such an old man, either. He swung at me with his cane and connected quite solidly with my left leg below the knee, but to no effect, because I pretty much can’t feel anything in that leg from my knee to my foot. So I just smiled, wrung the cane out of his hands, then jammed it in the spokes of his chair and gave it a few good kicks in place (with my good ol’ right leg) to be sure it would stick. By this time more than a few witnesses had stopped, so I added for their benefit that if he was still there when I got back from my business, I’d demonstrate that the law doesn’t discriminate against the handicapped when it comes to third-degree assault . . . He wasn’t.
Well, 2 points:
1.) I wouldn’t actually assault anyone, I don’t have the guts and would probably feel guilty afterwards. I know it’s wrong, but then so is parking illegally. Which brings me to point two:
2.) Are you disabled? It sounds like you are since you describe a leg that can’t feel anything, so why was the guy in the wheelchair mad at you? Weren’t you displaying a placard?
“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy
I always feel the need to key up a car when it doesn’t have a placard, or when the guy in the car looks like he isn’t disabled.
Then I remember there is a pretty good chance that the guy or woman, has some kind of ailment that isn’t very easy to spot, so I just take a deep breath, and assume the best.
I got a good laugh over the incident with the old guy and the cane.
I witnessed something a little different. My cousin had just gone through 2 years of extensive and brutal treatment for non-Hodgkinsons lymphoma.
She called me one weekend and told me that she was having one of her “good days” and asked if I wanted to escape with her for a while. She was unable to walk far without her wheelchair, but she was pretty determined not to use it if she didn’t have to. We parked in the handicapped stall at Target so she would be able to walk the short distance to the photo area at the front of the store to pick up pictures. Usually, although she had a handicapped plate, she would not use the stalls and instead use her wheelchair to get through the parking lot. She always said that someone probably needed them more than her.
Afterward, we were still sitting in her van with the doors open (it took her a minute to get adjusted in her seat) when some jackass walked by and made a rude comment to his wife that he thought it was despicable that those two girls were using someone else’s tags to be lazy. Although she was very sick at the time, the doctors had giving her weeks to live (she suckered them out and is now healthy, save the damaging effects of the treatment, 6 years later), at first glance you wouldn’t guess she was a bad as she actually was. She had an expensive, custom-made wig that was very realistic. A few years before she got sick, she worked as a model, so she had the makeup and know-how to not only cover the black circles under her eyes but to make her sunken face look almost healthy.
This slobs comments really hurt my cousins feelings and I got pissed. I went into the store again and saw that they were at Taco Bell ordering food. I got my cousin and together we walked up to the guy and his wife (my cousin is in tears). She didn’t say anything, just lifted her wig enough for him to see her bald head, pulled the collar of her shirt down enough for him to see the tube that was implanted in her chest (for chemo), and then lowered the side of her shorts enough for him to see the huge hip scar from the surgery that removed a large tumor from her groin.
The look on this guys face was priceless. I have never seen anyone become so humbled in such a short time. He apologized over and over and over again. Hopefully, he is a lot less judgmental these days.
Coffee, chocolate, men . . . Some things are just better rich.
It’s called a placard.
Just cause they forget it is no reason to have a fit, severely able people forget things too!..If you want to know if the person is handicapped, why don’t you just take a look at them?
Handy, please read Diane’s post above. It isn’t always obvious that someone is disabled. A similar thing happened with a friend who has a very severe heart condition. He is strictly limited as to how much walking he can do.
We were getting out of the car when someone challenged him on his right to a handicapped space. It was awful. Instead of a good evening, good food and good vibes, he had to document his illness to a total stranger. So much for getting away from it all.
I didn’t say that as a personal slam. To my shame, I hadn’t thought much about it until it happened to a friend, right in front of me.
IMO, the handicapped permit is a privilige. So is driving, but if you’re picked up without your license along, you get ticketed. In fairness, I don’t know if the ticket is “cancelled” if you can prove you just forgot it, though. Does anyone know? If so, I will have to rethink my position.
The ticket for forgetting your placard? I expect so. My mother has one–currently a hanging card, but a few years ago she had the type that you put in the front window. She had hers displayed once, but my little sister knocked it down when she went back to the car for something. The car was ticketed, but my mom got the ticket cancelled when she showed up with the handicapped card.
Gr8Kat: I think of myself as being ‘impaired’ more than ‘disabled’ or ‘handicapped’. Just a personal quibble. I can walk, just not very far. I try to get by without actually using a cane, but after the episode with the doof in the wheelchair, I realized it was really a great excuse to carry a club, so I keep two in the backseat of my car – a nice, heavy rosewood one and a really nifty one that I got from the Edge Company with a hammer-shaped head and 34 inches of ‘gleaming 440 stainless steel’.
Diane, I’d say I feel for your cousin, but the phrase has become so trite these days, I’ll just say I sympathize. I had a friend/co-worker once who was a cancer survivor, but this lady would never back down if someone confronted her about using a space, although she was a tiny thing and would probably make you think she was anorexic – we all would, if we’d had most of our intestines removed like her.
The only time I ever got ‘foamed up’ was when I was trying to park in a shopping center, and as I pulled up, I saw a woman in full ‘sweats’ almost literally bounce out of her car and lope across the sidewalk and into a ‘fitness center’, where she fell right in with the rest of her aerobics class.
Realizing what I was possibly setting myself up for, I parked my car so as to block hers in, found a pay phone, summoned a cop, and had him pull her out of the class (in full view of the others) and have her produce the copy of the form which authorizes the use of a placard, which (in Kentucky, at least) is also required to be carried in the car. Turns out the placard was for her husband. This used to be a $50 ticket – now it’s over $100 (don’t know if it’s been changed since, this was several years ago). The real payoff, though, is that it turned out the cop had a handicapped relative who had also complained about the same thing, and the cop had her car towed in addition to the ticket.
DIF, sounds like you’re in the same boat as a friend of mine. Due to a pituitary tumor, he had to have portions of his hip replaced by bone from his lower leg, so he has a permanent limp and also walks with a cane. He has a placard, but only uses it if his leg is really flaring up or he would otherwise have to walk too far; he wants to leave the spaces for, as he says, the “really crippled.” But when he does use it, inevitably some elderly person confronts him, and he’ll simply go back to the car, shove the placard in their face and show them his scar.
In some places, the misuse of a handicapped card by a friend or family member can result in the loss of that card, which I think is only right.
Lynn the Packrat
Lynn, if the misuse is knowingly permitted by the placard holder, I might agree, but generally for a first offense I’d stick with a forgiveable fine. Second offense – jerk it.
Phil, my ‘impairment’ isn’t pituitary-related (at least, it’s never been diagnosed that way, and I’ve never (AFAIK) had such symptoms), knock on wood. The prospect of possibly having to have deep-brain surgery is one of my personal horrors. I mean, you go in as ‘you’ but nobody can guarantee you’ll wake up the same.
I pretty much use the privilege any time I drive anywhere, because I figure that’s what it’s there for; if my physician is satisfied that I’m sufficiently impaired to qualify, I ain’t gonna stand there on my right leg with my left one hanging an inch short of the floor and argue with him. I’ve had one or two other confrontations besides the guy in the wheelchair, but the people were at least civil in approaching me and I was just as civil in explaining my condition and walking away.
But I can understand Trumpy’s frustration, since I’ve had to restrain the urge to get my cane and use it on the windshield of an ‘offending’ car, but (with one exception) I’ve always ultimately found a placard, usually lying in the floor of the passenger seat.
In the one exception where I found the car illegally parked with no way to tell who drove it, I left a note under the driver-side wiper, reading:
Actually, however, I think the real subtext of Trumpy’s complaint is that there are too many such placards being given out; but if it is, it’s for him to start the new thread.
I like almost everyone on this board, so try not to get too offended by this post. I must rant about this subject, and I’m very sensitive about it.
Point #1. I am a young, apparently healthly looking person with a not obvious disability. I have a handicapped placard which I use on my very worst days and it humiliates me and I hate it, but I’ve had to use it a few times. I don’t have to explain it to (collective) you. Don’t fucking ask me about it in the parking lot. It’s none of your business- if I still had a cane I would brain you with it for asking.
Point #2 People fucking forget things. The other day I took my 70 year old mother in law to the grocery store and she forgot her handicapped rear-view thingie (she doesn’t drive, it’s for when we are taking her places). She had hip surgery 8 weeks ago- I guess I should have just made her walk and struggle with her walker because she forgot it. Serves her right, the stupid bitch.
My reason for writing? When observing things like handicapped parking, if you don’t know for SURE that someone is not disabled, MYOB. There are a million different stories out there. Make my day and ask me mine some day when I’m having enough pain that I have to use my handicapped tag and we’ll have some fun.
FWIW, I am the first to let a store manager know if someone is illegally parked in a handicapped spot. If I had recieved a ticket the other day with my mother in law I could have presented her placard in court (or mine, I guess) and I doubt I would have received a ticket. Give people a break for Gods sake.
Thank you for listening to my rant- you may now resume your regular lives
Well said, Zette!
BTW, ever been approached by a ‘crusading reporter’ who’s out to do an ‘expose’ of handicapped permit abuse?