Maybe you shouldn't park in handicapped spaces? (mild)

Not nearly pit-worthy enough.

A woman and her friend are invited to the Congressional Black Caucus dinner here in DC. She has a handicapped tag, so she parks right next to DC’s convention center, and has the forethought to ask a local police officer if it is okay to park there. He says it is.

But the President is coming to speak at the dinner, so the Secret Service swoops in and tows a bunch of cars. The woman’s car is moved elsewhere in the neighborhood, and essentially lost for nearly 24 hours. The police are embarrassed and help her find a hotel room for the night.

Here’s my mild beef: the handicapped tag belongs to her husband, who was not in attendance. Although I have a hard time excusing the Secret Service for losing her car, my main thought is: “Boo-hoo. I illegally park in a handicapped space and my car got moved for unrelated reasons.” I call it poetic justice.

I think the police acted with quite a bit of leniency by not giving her a $500 ticket (or whatever it is these days) after they found her car.

(Cite on non-handicapped people not being able to use their family member’s tags if the family member isn’t present.)

Eh. I worked for a company that, apparently as policy, maintained handicapped parking tags in all its executive cars so they got the best spots at the airports.

Before my late wife’s eyesight got so bad that it was no longer safe for her to drive, she had handicapped plates on our van because of her other medical conditions. We kept the plates on the van because a friend would use it to take her shopping and run other errands. If my wife wasn’t with her, she would not park the van in a handicapped space because it wasn’t legal for her do so, regardless of the convenience. One time a different friend used the van to take me shopping (I don’t drive) and headed for the handicapped spaces; he was confused by my insistence that he not park in one of them.

How? Did they have real handicapped people apply for the tags and then not use them?

As for the OP, She deserved to get towed, police should not have helped at all.

I’m with the OP, and Sailboat’s company is an asshole. (Not Sailboat)

It irks me to think of non-disabled people parking in disabled spots. What an ass-hole-ish thing to do. I would almost be inclined to suggest that I make it so that they are entitled to park in those spots (hint hint)

My sister-in-law is disabled, although in her presence I refer to her as “conveniently parked.” Seriously though, she’s wheelchair bound, and having to park in a non-handicapped space is a huge hassle (not enough room to load/unload). There’s a special place in hell for people who use them when they’re not entitled.

She deserves to get towed, but she should not have gotten towed. The police have no way of knowing that she’s not handicapped. Worse yet, they towed her car to where it could not be found. They should have at least put it nearby.

My mom is handicapped. If you aren’t handicapped or driving a handicapped person, don’t use the handicapped spaces. Enjoy the fact that you can walk a block without trouble.

That lady had no valid reason to use a blue spot - she could have gotten a ticket and/or had her car towed by the police department. I do agree that it would have been nice for the Secret Service to at least keep a list of “The following vehicles were towed to the following locations” since they had no way of knowing whether her car was there legitimately or not.

Indeed. And while one expects to find that the world still possesses its usual complement of individual jerks, I find it especially offensive that a company might be parking its healthy executives in handicapped spots as company policy.

I don’t know the mechanics of how they did it. But a couple of times I was asked to follow a secretary driving the executive car out to leave for an executive, and drive her back to the office in my own car, and each time she’d just reach into the glovebox, haul out a hang tag, and park wherever was most convenient. The said executive would appear in the office soon, hale and hearty, freshly tanned.

Ironically, the Washington Post reports the car was found half a block away from the spot from which it was moved…after the police had spent some time driving around the area looking for it, and had given up and left.

The car was allegedly parked in front of a fire hydrant and had not been ticketed.

Disabled Doper chiming in agreeing it’s poetic justice. And Lurkmeister’s anecdote about his wife illustrate the propler use of handiacpped spots.

If I shared a car with someone who qualified for a handicap placard, I would totally make sure that when I was alone I would park far away with the placard displayed. “Yep, we had to park my handicapped self all the way out here…”

I read that article over breakfast this morning and had the same thought as the OP. Apparently it never occurred to the reporter. Writing a letter to the editor is on my to-do list.

Seems to have touched a nerve with a lot of people – there’s almost 500 comments on the WaPo website.

I had a friend who was a double amputee. On his van he had a sticker which read, “I’d gladly trade my parking spot for your legs.”

I don’t have a car myself, but I borrow my parents’ and inlaws’ cars fairly often. They all have handicap tags (by MiL has a bad leg, and my brother is quadraplegic), and I never, ever, EVER park in a handicapped space. I mean, the thought never even crosses my mind.

(Except for that one time my wife cut her foot and had to walk with a crutch - but then, that’s pretty much what they’re there for).

My mother has a handicap tag because of the knee replacement she had in 2006. Apparently you’re automatically eligible for one in WI if you’ve had a knee replaced. (Hmm, isn’t the surgery supposed to remove the disability? It’s not a temporary tag, either.)

Anyway . . . it came in handy when I was taking care of her for the past 6 weeks after her 2nd knee replacement (other knee). For the first few weeks, I was dropping her off at the door of the clinic, store, whatever, and parking in a regular spot. Later, as she got more mobile and needed a small amount of exercise, I did use the handicap spaces so she could walk the shorter distance into the building (and use the motorized cart if she felt she needed it). Now she’s back on her own, and once she can drive she’ll use it only when she feels she needs it.

I won’t deny that it was mighty convenient not to have to hunt for a space. But there’s a special place in hell for those who use handicap spots and aren’t entitled to them. Double hell for friends/family of the disabled; they should know better.

How about someone who is entitled but doesn’t get handicapped tags of their own and uses a friend’s vehicle instead?