LETTER TO THE EDITOR – Hopefully, I will raise some awareness on handicapped parking.
Recently, I was at my grandson’s school to pick him up. I became royally ticked when I got there because all of the handicapped spaces were taken by those who have no placard or plates that are handicapped. This has happened numerous of times while I have been there.
So, out jumps mothers and fathers, phone in hand, running up to get their child from school. After retrieving their child, they then proceed back to their vehicle. One of the people parked in a spot is a lady who is on her phone and is also conversing to someone next to her in another non-handicapped person’s vehicle. While a few cars, my own included, were forced to park all the way at the end of the parking lot because there were no spaces to park. The lady today was in such a hurry to get her child, that she had the time to text and to talk to those around her.
So, I thought to myself, “Why would someone park illegally in a handicapped space?”
Here are my answers:
- They are lazy. They park as close to the entrance as they can so that they don‘t have to walk. In addition, they don‘t care if they take up a disabled parking space.
- Maybe in their mind being in a hurry is a justifiable reason to park in a handicapped spot while not being handicapped- tell that to the veteran or the handicapped person who can’t walk easily.
- Maybe they are worried someone will scratch the vehicle and that warrants taking two handicapped spaces?
- Wait, maybe they don’t see the big blue sign that says handicapped parking only or think it is just a suggestion. If they can’t see that on the ground and the sign, they should NOT be driving at all.
- Let me see, maybe they know that nobody will ticket them and they can do what they want because they are special. They obviously have money to throw away on fines in case they get caught. So, $125.00 is a drop in the bucket for them. But, they know nobody is patrolling.
Sorry, I am being sarcastic on this because I know I am. But also at the same time- people don’t get it. In order to have a handicapped placard or plate, you have to have a disability.
According to the Utah Motor Vehicle Division, this is what you have to do to qualify for a handicapped parking permit:
Qualifications for Disabled Parking
- Individuals with disabilities can qualify for disabled person’s license plates, which are mounted on their cars in place of regular license plates, or disabled person’s placards, that are hung from the rear view mirror of their cars. These plates or placards allow the disabled person to park in specially marked parking areas that are convenient to the entrances of public buildings. The plates may be personalized.
- State law defines a “disabled” person as one who:
- cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest;
- cannot walk without the use of, or assistance from, a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair or other devices;
- is restricted by lung disease to a specific standard;
- uses portable oxygen;
- has a cardiac condition to a specific standard; or
- is severely limited in his or her ability to walk, due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition.
Although many people, such as new mothers, people with minor injuries, and others can obviously benefit from the use of disabled parking privileges, each case must meet one of the six criteria listed above in order to qualify.
Certification of continued qualification and use must be provided every two years when requested by the DMV. Additionally, the plate must be surrendered upon death or inability to use.
Okay, now I’m getting off this topic because I can go on and on when it comes to this topic and being aware that the handicapped people need those spaces. It isn’t because they are lazy, out of shape, or just don’t care. They would love to be able to park out on the north 40 and still be able to breathe and not pay the price for wanting to go to the store or pick up a child from school.
I tried to find a video on handicapped parking for our state. But there is a good video from Pittsburgh that shows the problem and the stupidity of people.
Video shows how handicapped parking cheats frustrate disabled Pittsburghers
Submitted by: Sandie Divan
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