Only lazy people park in handicap parking places because they do not want to walk. I have witnessed this procedure done daily. Every time I park and walk into the store I walk by the spots clearly marked handicap. I have seen idiot driver’s speed down the lane, trying to get to a handicap parking spot as fast as possible. Once there, they run out of their vehicle in a major hurry to enter the store. I look around and notice that this person, who really is not handicapped, took the last parking spot available. I wonder how many other drivers who are parked in in handicap parking should not be there. We need to understand the problem and what is happening, and understand that the law we have now makes it almost impossible to ticket illegal parkers because police officers think the offender will get out of the ticket; they just look the other way and pretend they didn’t see the offense, when action should be taken.
In other words, handicap people have nowhere to park because young vigorous people are using their parking spots. One time I said something to a young girl who took the last spot and she said, “Oh, it won’t take my long.” I went into the store, bought what I came there for. As I was leaving fifteen minutes later, I noticed the girl’s car was still there. Walking out of the store I noticed an old woman trying to find a handicap spot available. Unable to do so, she parked out in the back of a huge parking lot and began to walk towards the store. I just sat there and watched as she slowly creeped along with her walker in hand, and remembered the teenager who said she wold be only a few minutes. After that incident, I began to watch all handicap parking spots and noticed that many physically fit people where parking in them. People of all races did this on a daily basis. At another store, I watched as a second elderly woman tried to park and couldn’t. She was forced to park far away and walk, I told her what I had seen, and told her she needed to report people who she saw parking where they should not be. She told me she had already done so many times, but no one would listen to her. “You try,” she said.
Afterwards, I called up a police officer I knew and asked him if he could possible pay more attention to the handicap parking spots that people park in when they shouldn’t. He just laughed at me. He informed me that it was only a waste of this time because those offenders wood never be prosecuted. He began to explain that if he did ticket them they could always go to court, wast his time, and make the ticket invalid by giving a false statement. Most traffic tickets or violations given out would stand up in the court system except for a ticket for parking in a handicap spot. This is why police officers really never ticket people for parking in these spaces. The officer then informed me that a fine is issued, and most everyone contests it in court. No one cares to pay attention to this problem. Most people can lie and say that they just dropped off their grandmother. They can say anything and it can’t be disproven. That is how they can get away with it.
When police see any vehicle parked in a handicapped space without a handicap sticker, they should ticket the car. If officers see a young vibrant person with a sticker get out and enter a store, they could always wait until they return to their vehicle, present them with a ticket, and confiscate the handicap tag or sticker. That should hold up in a court, if the person tries to contest it, then so be it. The individual could not use any excuse to escape the ticket then. If a larger number of officers gave out tickets to offending parkers, I am sure these actions would quickly circulate to the neighborhoods not to park illegally in handicap spaces anymore. Even if a large number of people do try to contest the ticket at least they will learn that they are being watched and will think twice about doing it a second time. If more elderly and handicap people wold raise hell and voice there situation, something might be done about it. In turn, I believe police officers wold understand that handicap violators are a real problem and should be dealt with.
In conclusion, I believe the problem of illegal parking will continue to be a problem until those in power can take the first step to enforce the law. It also appears no one cares where the handicap people park because they continue to turn their back when the perfectly health park in these spots. Therefore, I believe that by sending copies of this paper to every police officer and judge in this county could be the first step to correcting this problem.