Where Was Jamie McGarry When I Needed Him?

Jamie, I have a tag-on question. How do you drive if you’re paraplegic? Do you control the brake and gas with your hands? Could an able-bodied person go about getting similar vehicle modifications done? I would really love to be able to drive without using my foot on the pedals. My hands have a faster reaction time, and on long trips my knee starts to hurt.

Yes, it’s a hand-control system. Any car can be equipped with the controls, now I’m not sure how you would go about getting them as an able-bodied person w/no disabled person in your care or whom you must drive (they don’t just sell them at a store, you must get a doctor’s script and you must take a driver’s training course for hand-controlled driving). But it’s a simple set up: it’s just a lever attached to the steering column. This lever has wires (or some sort of connection, some models differ slightly) that run down and connect to the brake and the gas. To deploy the brake, the lever is pushed in towards the dash. To accelerate, the lever is pulled down towards the floor. And that’s it. In most instances, people don’t even notice the hand controls unless I point them out.

A neighbor growing up had polio and lost the use of his legs. He always drove Camaros that had been modified for hand controls. There are several companies that sell and/or install modifications for hand control and the folks I know who use them seem to drive just fine.


This is what gets me about stories like these, why do people feel the need to entertain these loons?

Some woman stops you in the car park and starts bleating, and you start to explain yourself to her? Why? To what end? Not even that, but she is able to go away and then return with a security guard so you can further explain yourself? Buh?

Whats wrong with just saying, “Stop talking shite love” as you saunter away about your business? Why let this busybody have even a second of your time?

I was wondering about that, particularly that Broomstick waited for the busybody to fetch a mall security guard. I don’t think I’d have bothered to wait, although it might have been fun to watch her argue with him.

It was, as I said, a bit of a walk from my car to the door of the store. The busy-body was surprisingly fit, managed to jog over, get the guard and head me off before I entered the store.

Haha! She’s in shape because she’s done this once or twice before…:stuck_out_tongue:

I’ll tell my WTF?.
When I first started driving after my accident, I had a red(Ca)temp placard.

Besides being told I was too young to have a placard as those are reserved for the elderly, I was also ordered(on more than one occasion) to vacate the space as a blue tag has priority over a red tag.

I was told I could only park in a red zone.(Fire lane)

All this while I was either in the chair or pulling it out.

LMFAO! Never heard that one before either! A blue tag has priority over a red one! OMeffinG! The absolute idiocy. :smack:

The mom was my mom, and yes, this is it. She didn’t notice his plate or hang tag (I forget which he had). Contrapuntal, needscoffee was right. The point of the story was that she assumed–wrongly–that he shouldn’t park there. At least she had the grace to tell the story on herself. :slight_smile:

So she looked at a guy from the shoulders up and decided he wasn’t handicapped? Who looks handicapped just sitting in a truck? I’m not sure I would have told that story on myself. I would have taken the lesson to heart, however. That’s a mighty big jump to a conclusion.

That’s why, if they have a permit-even if your instincts are telling you they are abusing it-say nothing and let it go; it’s legal. And, like this story shows, many times it’s not what it appears and it can backfire in a big way if you DO say something.

Is it legal to park in a handicap spot if you are not the one the sticker was issued for, and that person is not with you?

No, the permit holder has to be with you.
He/she is liable to lose the placard and get fined if it’s used without them present.

In California, the permit holder is also issued an ID paper. The placard is not valid without it.

I don’t believe is, but even if it isn’t, it wouldn’t be warranted.

I had almost the same kind of run in as Broomstick once when I borrowed my parent’s car to run an errand. It had a hang tag that I didn’t think to take off. I parked in a non-handicapped spot and someone told me I could park in the handicapped area. I said I wasn’t entitled and he pointed out I had the tag. I solved the issue by taking the tag off the mirror and putting it in the glove compartment.

With the exception – I believe this is true across the board, I know it is in some jurisdictions – that the driver is parking there to pick up the person in whose favor the handicapped permit was issued.

TECHNICALLY-no. It’s not legal. But for all intents and purposes, how is it ever going to be discovered? It’s an example of quasi-legal abuse.

Someone with prosthetic arms?


Unless you’re driving there in order to pick the person up, in which case they will be with you when you pull out.

Old people. :rolleyes: