Handicapped parking placards: If you aren't disabled, would you ever use one?

This is one of my biggest Pet peeves. I don’t know why because I am by no means self-righteous, and I try not to be judgmental, but it really bugs me! I know this guy who received a handicap parking placard from his elderly mother and he uses it all the time. He is not disabled, but he is lazy! He justifies using it by claiming that there are plenty of HC spaces available and also claims that many disabled wheelchair users can just as easily wheel themselves as we can walk, so they don’t need to be close to the store entrance. He uses the placard everyday and has no qualms about walking out of his car right in front of the entrance and not being disabled. I rode in his car once and I was mortified stepping out of the vehicle. I didn’t want anyone to see that I wasn’t disabled. I personally have never parked in a HC space. Would anyone use a HC placard if they were not disabled? Is this commonplace for non-disabled people to use HC parking spaces?

No; that would be a very obnoxious thing to do at best.

I have one and use it maybe 2-3 times a year. Just not needed that often.

I used one when transporting my then-husband anywhere following his quadruple bypass surgery. Yep. Judgementals glaring at us the whole way. Disabilities are not always visible.

I have accidentally parked in handicapped parking spaces for a few minutes while delivering pizza to businesses. I’ve never done it on purpose though. I just wasn’t paying attention and I felt stupid when I came back to the car and realized it.

Neigh! I wouldn’t, and haven’t.

While I agree that this guy sounds like a total chodenugget, and think you should really report him if you get the chance, not all disabilities are visible. So, whether or not a stranger “looks disabled” to you, that is not a necessary or sufficient way to determine whether they need their placard. Someone with a condition like, say, MS has good days and bad days. On a bad day, maybe they can’t even drive at all. But on a good day, maybe they can make it through the grocery store without looking disabled. Or maybe someone with a bum knee can walk okay for short distances, but will be using a motorized cart once they get inside the store’s entrance. You just never know, and you really shouldn’t judge.

When I was in college, my boyfriend at the time was crossing the street (in a crosswalk) and got knocked down pretty badly by a car. He dealt with some persistent neurological issues afterward (and sporadic, intense back pain), and was issued a temporary 6-month placard while in recovery. He was able to drive and walk moderate distances, and didn’t look disabled; still, his doctor said he should use it to minimize the amount of time he needed to recover. Unfortunately, he avoided using it most of the time, because he was afraid of being negatively judged for not looking “handicapped enough.”

Just something to mull over. But again, that has nothing to do with *this specific guy, *who is a total douchebrush. If I were you, I’d not accept rides from him except in cases of dire emergency.

I have, at times, borrowed my parents’ car, which has a handicapped hang-tag in it because my dad has arthritis and a heart condition. Proud to say I have never used the hang-tag.

Not even when we went to an amusement park and handicapped parking was free while normal parking cost eight bucks. And the parking gods rewarded me for this by giving us the space right next to the parking lot tram stop :smiley:

I once had some vigilante asshole key my car when I parked in a handicap space at the mall, put up the placard, and strode briskly inside. When I got back five minutes later, pushing my 95-year old mother in her wheelchair (I had earlier left her and my daughter to browse in the mall while I ran an errand), my hood was scratched up and there was a very nasty note saying “don’t do it again” under my wiper.

I never have. But if for some reason I was driving someone else’s car that had a handicapped plate, and there were plenty of handicapped spots open, and no regular spots, and I really needed to park…well I’m not going to say I wouldn’t seriously consider it. Very unlikely I’d ever be in that situation though.

Only if I was driving a disabled person!

Yup. They seem to treat them as loading bay spaces, and park there when picking stuff up/dropping people off under the “But I’ll only be a minute!” philosophy.

You should ask **Ambivalid **about his experiences, he regularly sees and interacts with rogue parkers.

As my spouse is disabled and we have handicapped plates on the car I’m often in that position. And I can honestly say never, ever, have I ever taken advantage of that and parked in the handicapped spot no matter the weather, no matter how convenient, etc. Never. Never despite able-bodied passenger wanting me to, never despite the occasional mall busy-body asking me why I didn’t or even that one ignoramus who thought a handicapped plate restricted the car to only handicapped spots!


Because I’ve also had to deal with having a handicapped person with me and being confronted by all the handicapped spots filled with vehicles that didn’t have plates or hang tags.

I am not going to do that to someone else.

I’ve done it when driving the person who owned the tag. It was an elderly woman I was playing bridge with, who didn’t like to drive at night, and used a walker. I would not park in a handicapped spot without someone that actually needed the spot in the vehicle with me.

I think the penalty for unauthorized parking in a handicapped spot should involve rendering the offender fully qualified to use such spots in the future.

On my own, never. When driving my brother, I did.

My brother was a bit of a hard head about it. He had an AK amputation and significant respiratory difficulty due to cancer.

If all of the handicapped spaces were full he would drive to the far end of the parking lot out where he could park across two spaces. That gave him enough room to maneuver getting in and out of the car.

And on the way to the entrance he would glare at people getting back into cars in the handicapped spaces if the car had no plate or placard.

I once circled my MIL’s car (with a placard) for 45 minutes, looking for a parking place - and there was a handicapped spot 50 meters from where I was going. I ended up parking about a mile away and walking. It’s a matter of principle.

After having a tag when I was on crutches, I would never park in a handicapped space.
My wide uses a cane and I will sometimes pull up to a handicapped space and drop her off then go park elsewhere.

I did use disabled parking spots (sans a placard) a few times in 2010 when I had crippling flare-ups of calf-ankle tendonitis. I felt guilty about doing so, but there were a few times that I could barely walk, even with a cane, and had to haul groceries or a big sack of dog chow back to the car without assistance.

I think these few instances of using disabled parking were defensible. Prior to this I had never parked in a special space (and never will, unless I’m incapacitated).

I would never park in a space reserved for disabled drivers, either with or without a badge, even if I thought I could get away with it, or if it was just for 5 minutes, or if it was the last parking space available (in fact, especially if it was the last available, as that seems to make it even more of a dick move).

One rather overzealous parking spot vigilante I had to stop when thought someone was using a stolen tag because the numbers on the tag didn’t match the car’s plates. I managed to point out that they don’t have to match before he was about to do something stupid.

As to the person in the OP’s post - he’s the worst as far as I am concerned. Needs to have a leg chopped off so he actually does need the tag.

I… sort of do, but only in one spot- here, if you’re disabled, you can apply for a handicapped space to be marked on the street outside your house, and there’s one on the street I park on.

After 2 years, I realised I’d never seen a car with a placard parked in that space, or indeed, anywhere on the whole street (there’s often a car without a placard there, or parked half across it- and yes, I did basically check every day, as my job included driving for my disabled boss, and she’d been pointing out the sneak users, and the placards here tend to come with a permanant badge and a part you leave on the dash). I think the person who originally got the space marked moved away, but I doubt anyone’s going to bother removing the paint, especially as it’s starting to wear away. Occasionally, I do park there when it’s the last space as space is incredibly tight here, and it’s that or park a few hundred yards further away, though I always feel guilty, even though I’m certain it was a specific space for someone who no longer needs it. I wish they would remove them when no longer needed, so people don’t start just blanket ignoring the markings.

I’d never use one in other circumstances though- I didn’t when I was barely able to walk a few months back, because I didn’t have a placard.

Yes it is true that people who are truly disabled may not be obviously disabled. But if they genuinely have a disability then they should have a placard, and I really try not to judge people with placards, but because I KNOW this guy I know does NOT have a disability it really irks me! So he and others like him, along with those without placards ate real assholes in my opinion to use a HC spot. And after that one time of being in his car I never rode with him again. I have never, ever used a HC spot. Even when I was desperate.