The fact that I even feel the need to write this post is evidence enough that people aren’t considerate of disabled people. I am a real handicapped person, with a parking placard and everything, and yet most of the time I can’t find a handicapped space in parking lots because non-handicapped people have taken them. Thus, I end up thinking the title of this post–“gee, thanks for taking my space!”
Why Is This an Issue?
Handicapped people have extreme difficulty with mobility, and often they have to have a good bit of room around their vehicle so that a wheelchair or other mobility device can be loaded and unloaded. Handicapped spaces are thus provided with extra room around the space, and the spaces are located very close to the doors of businesses. These spaces are meant for people who have a medically-issued, government-approved handicapped placard.
At least, that’s the intended purpose. But most of the time, non-handicapped people use handicapped spaces as convenience spaces for a “quick trip to the store” (which ends up being ALL DAY). Or, people park in the striped lines BESIDE the handicapped space and make it impossible for people with mobility devices to get out of their cars/vans at all.
Both of these actions are incredibly inconsiderate and infuriating to me, as a real-life disabled person, and I know other disabled people get frustrated about this too. In my case, any walking I do aggravates one of the major nerves in my ankles, causing sharp lightning pains up my legs with every step. When I can’t find a handicapped place, it literally hurts so much to walk into the building that sometimes I just have to turn around and go home rather than run my errand. (And if I took enough medicine to dull the pain, I’d be too doped up to even consider driving in the first place.) I can’t imagine what it’s like for people who need extra room for mobility devices!
Fixing This, One Driver at a Time
- Leave the handicapped spots for handicapped people. If you do not have a handicapped placard, you should not be parking there–it’s ILLEGAL, and it will cost you quite a bit in fines if you’re caught.
- Even if you’re not caught doing it, there are people who actually need those spaces, and you’re robbing them of the legal right they have to park there. Does your convenience trump their right to run errands as normally as possible?
- Do not park in the striped space beside a handicapped spot. Be respectful (and save yourself the parking fines).
- If you’re parking beside a handicapped spot, be sure to leave extra room on that side so that future visitors can get out easily, no matter what side the handicapped person is on.
- If you see a car without a placard in a handicapped spot, report it to a parking supervisor. I hate to advise being a “tattletale,” but maybe a few fines will make people realize this is actually an issue!