Handicapped parking

I recently had lunch in a mall restaurant. Our table overlooked three handicapped parking slots, so I got to spend about 45 minutes observing how these were used. Rather eye-opening.

There was reasonable turnover - I’d say that something like 10 vehicles arrived and departed. Not one person in any of these was in any obvious way impaired from walking properly. Most of these folks looked to be 30 or younger, and they moved the way people of that age normally do. The oldest was a woman who was probably in her mid-forties and a bit overweight, but she and 2 accompanying teenagers seemed to have no difficulties.

I was hoping to see at least one person who more or less clearly deserved one of these spots. An older man with a cane (though moving briskly) looked like a candidate, but alas he had parked in a spot adjacent to one of the reserved spots.

I realize it’s perfectly possible that some of these folks had hidden disabilities. But I’d have to say it’s not likely that the spirit of this parking rule was being well followed.

Did they have handicap placards or tags? Or were you seeing random yutzes?

I wasn’t close enough to see whether or not the vehicles had tags.

Does the mall bother to police the disabled parking spots?

It’s a problem all over. The idea was put forward here that parking wardens could be given permission to police the mall spots (private land) and ticket the sods not showing proper disability cards in their windscreen windows.

But folk then started whingeing that they might get ticketed in their driveways … :rolleyes:

Are you complaining about people using handicapped spots that don’t have a right to use them (no tags) or the people using them don’t look handicapped to you?

When my sister first got a handicapped parking hang-tag several years ago because of rheumatoid arthritis, many times, when she’d get out of her vehicle, she’d be displaying no obvious handicap. She took advantage of the close parking to limit her walking in hopes that she could also limit the amount of pain she’d be in by the end of the day.

I had a class with someone in their 20’s that has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and he stopped using handicapped spaces because he said people would actually give him a hard time using handicapped spots.

I have seen people just park in handicapped spots with no tags and didn’t appear to be handicapped so I wasn’t sure what the OP meant. You can get a huge fine for doing that.

As someone who has a handicapped tag, I see people all too often using the spots who don’t have handicapped tags and apparently don’t care. There’s not nearly enough ticketing of those spots, IMO. When I’m having good days or won’t have to walk too far, I may not use mine, but there are times when I really, really need it. So it’s extremely frustrating to not be able to park because someone has taken the spot who isn’t supposed to. And yes, I’ve been challenged on it, too, but if my doctor and the state think I’m qualified, frankly, I don’t care what anyone else thinks – they’re not feeling my pain!

Sure there are people who have invisible disabilities, but I’m guessing that in 45 minutes, not all the parkers who leaped out of their vehicles in the handicapped spots and trotted into the stores were in this category. I’m guessing it’s a whole lot more likely that you got to see a bunch of handicapped tag frauds (or just plain assholes who don’t have a tag at all).

One of my best friends in high school had a sister who was a paraplegic so clearly they had and used a handicapped tag for their van.
On the other end of my experience, a slime ball I once worked with had kept the tag after his girlfriend’s grandparents died. He’d pull it out whenever he didn’t feel like walking.

I’ve decided it’s best for my sanity to ignore the people parked in handicapped spots. I have no business there, so it shouldn’t really matter to me what those other people are doing.

One of my best friends qualified for a HC plate because of his HIV+ status. He’s actually in very good shape and very physically fit, but of course he’s not going to turn down prime reserved parking everywhere he goes.

I’ve often wished HC parking rights should require some sort of means testing.

I wonder how high my cholesterol has to be to get a HC parking permit…

We have to use disabled parking spots for my dad (bad skiing accident, dodgy left leg), but he doesn’t limp as much as he used to, because he has better orthotics and painkillers, unless he’s very tired or overexerted. My school had two disabled parking spots side by side that are actually further from the school entrance than the teacher’s parking but it’s a convenient spot to swing in and out of without having to go up a steep hill and having to reverse out (it’s narrow). The few times my dad actually came to the school, there was also one other car in the disabled parking area with no tag.

I do recall one incident at the airport where we were picking Dad up off the plane when he still had crutches, so we parked in the disabled spot, put up the tag and as we got out of the car, a man called in an accusing tone “Excuse me, do you have a pass to park there?” and Mum said, “Yes, we do. There it is, sitting on the dashboard.”

A few minutes later, we return, this guy is still sitting with his car and we all help Dad into the car - all six foot four inches and goodness knows how many kilos of him on crutches with a knee brace on. The guy blanched as we approached and didn’t look back up at us. While I can appreciate that he was actually doing a fair thing; calling people out on their attitude problems (ie. I’m so important, I can park here even though I’m not allowed to), people do sometimes forget that the disability isn’t always immediately obvious. If they have a tag, they have a reason (excluding slime balls).

I guess I’m mostly wondering how many of those who are parking in these spots actually need to. It looks as if the answer may be “Not all that many.”

Sounds as if he should, though. If he makes a habit of this, he’s occasionally preventing those who really need them from parking close to their destination.

For the record, “handicapped” is considered a derogatory term these days, and frowned upon by people with disabilities (which, also for the record, is the most P.C. term).

I don’t mean to be the P.C. Police, since I often shrug off political correctness in other areas of life, but I am becoming finely-tuned to issues regarding people with disabilities since my girlfriend is one of them. I’ve learned a lot from her. I also get to use her disabled parking hang-tag whenever we go out, since I always drive! I’ll often pull up into a disabled parking space in front of a crowded restaurant and jump out of the car, occasionally earning eye-rolls and death-looks from the people standing around. But when I open the passenger side door to help out my girlfriend, a stunning beauty who just happens to walk with a pronounced limp, people get the message.

This is kind of a hot button for me because I had to park in a handicapped space at my office for A YEAR because the person at my office who actually had a handicapped tag did not feel like she “needed” to park there.

Now, there was no particular benefit to this marked space. It was about ten steps further from the door than three other spaces, and about ten steps closer than the four other spaces. But it was marked, and there was no other place to park. (Two hour parking on the street; did I want to go out and move my car every two hours? No.) My boss said to park there, there wouldn’t be a problem, and if I got a ticket the company would pay. Why didn’t they just tell Phyllis to park there? She had a tag!

The deal is that Phyllis has MS and has good days and bad days, and on her good days she doesn’t “feel” disabled, and on her bad days she doesn’t come to work–or if she does, SHE DOESN’T DRIVE. Why have the damn plate, then? I was stuck with the space because I was the newest and the one who arrived at work the latest. After a while a couple of people quit and were replaced with just one and somebody retired so I got to move into another space. And then we moved to another office which doesn’t have parking problems.

But…last week we all went out to lunch. We took Phyllis’s car. We arrived at the Ruby Tuesday’s which, like all such restaurants, is in a retail hot-spot and it was a week and a half before That Holiday. And Phyllis goes driving through the parking lot looking for a space, when there are two perfectly good spaces right next to the restaurant! But, oh no, she can’t park in the HC spot because she doesn’t “feel” she deserves it and she doesn’t think she should take a spot away from someone who might need it. So we park a football field away (stealing the spot from two other cars that were also heading for it, thereby taking away a spot from someone else who might need it) and start walking, in a bitter wind, at Phyllis’s pace. Which even on her good days is not fast. Four car lengths into the walk Phyllis has a change of heart. Suddenly she thinks it might not be a good idea to park that far away. (I think it was the wind that did it.) She and one other woman turned back to go to her car and repark it in the HC spot while the rest of us picked up our pace and continued on to the restaurant.

Either use the space or turn in the tag, dammit!

We go through this (usually in The Pit) a couple times a year.

It’s really hard for someone to be the judge of someone else’s ability or lack of ability from your chair. It’s up to the doctor who signed for the parking tag to make that judgment. You can ponder all you want but unless you can see the tag or lack of tag, try not to judge.

Like a few folks who have posted here, my aunt is a vibrant young-looking woman. She is bouncy on occasion. No crutches or hobbles or cane. She’s got a tag because she’s got a heart condition that makes her absolutely wiped out if she walks too far. Some days you might see her using up her last bit of energy for the day going to and from her car. Some days not. But she needs that tag every day.

Try not to judge unless you know the whole story.

Ivylad has a handicapped tag (sorry, Big Bad Voodoo Lou, that’s what they’re called) and I do most of the driving.

We’ve run into situations where someone was parked in a handicapped spot. One was a motorcycle, and we had to ask him to move. He apologized, as the space was not clearly marked.

Recently, I went to pick up my car after I got new tires, and the tire center clerk had parked another car that they had worked on in the handicapped space!

At a NASCAR race here a few years ago, police were actually checking the tags of people driving in to park with handicapped tags. Many of the folk were either driving with expired tags, the handicapped person was not in the car, or the tag was fake.

I myself am scrupulous about parking if Ivylad is not in the car, and I have forced my BIL to find another parking space (he got yelled at by everyone in the car, and very sheepishly decided to find another parking space.)

Why the hell wouldn’t he turn down a prime spot? I mean, sure, it’s *prime * and all, but then again he is an able bodied young man fully capable of walking the extra 200 feet from a non-prime spot to the building, thereby allowing someone who actually can’t make that walk to use the handicapped spot.

There’s the letter of the law and there’s the spirit of the law. I think your friend is being a putz.

Turek, I think Patty actually agrees with you, judging from the rest of the post. Either the whole post is so tongue-in-cheek she’s about to get a perforated cheek, or she’s as much of an idiot as her friend, which kind of goes against my general principle of “assuming people are Ok unless they prove otherwise”.