Let’s talk about my absolute biggest pet peeve – people in disabled parking spots without disabled placards! Maybe I have anger management issues but this seriously makes me want to scream.
Today, I was out with my girls running errands. We parked one spot over from the disabled parking. I do have a placard but typically don’t use it unless it’s icy or we have Ali’s wheelchair with us. I like to make sure that people who need them more than we do have access to them. I might use one on a really crowded day because it’s very hard for Ali to walk outside but today there was lots of available parking. As I grabbed a cart, I noticed that there was a blue Dodge Dart in the very well marked disabled parking stall that did not have a placard. I see that all the time. Typically it’s someone carrying a heavy bag of dog food or someone who runs in and out within about 2 minutes – neither of which make it okay. I went in to the store, we used the washroom, did our shopping and came back out and the car was still there. As I was loading up my kids, a lady in about 4 inch heels and dress so tight that I’m surprised it didn’t explode sauntered up to the Dart and bent right over and licked her finger and sighed as she rubbed a little bit of dirt off of it. Maybe she thought her car was pretty spiffy but I have trouble getting excited over a Dart! She sort of stood back and examined it (I know the look because I look at my Pilot that way) and got in and checked her makeup and as I was pulling out, she and her friend were still getting themselves organized to leave. She was obviously in no hurry to vacate that spot that they had no right to be in. Now, I am the first to say that disabilities are not always visible but if you do not have a valid placard, you should not be in those parking spots. I would love to give her the benefit of the doubt both in regard to her fashion sense and her parking job and assume that she didn’t know that it was a disabled spot but it’s very obvious that it is. I think she parked there to avoid door dings on her car and that pisses me off.
I have a feeling that my many, many friends who do have a right to those parking spots would gladly take all the door dings in the world to give up the need for that placard. I would and I’m pretty anal about my beloved SUV. This woman’s life is obviously way to easy if she figures she can just help herself to something that is meant to make life easier for someone for whom a simple outing can be very difficult. I only wish my life could be that simple. I have seen families who have children with severe disabilities struggle into and out of the grocery store with their children because ALL of the disabled parking spots were taken by people without placards! That is NOT okay people! If you have one display it. If you don’t then leave the spots for someone who does. I don’t care what the circumstances are, there is absolutely no excuse for that. It’s lazy and entitled and it stinks! You know what, maybe she missed the sign. But I see it all time and all these people, in this small town, with a limited number of parking spots are not missing the signs!
So I’m going to put my soapbox away now and get on with my day. But please, next time you think to yourself, “I’ll just park here. It’ll just be a minute”, don’t! What if three other people also think that way and use all the parking stalls? You could be making it so that a senior citizen can’t get their groceries, a disabled parent might not be able to get to their medication or a disabled child might not be able to get into a restaurant for a well deserved outing. It’s not a perk, it’s a necessity. It’s illegal to park in these parking spots without a placard and it carries a huge fine. These spots are there for a reason, to make life a little simpler for someone who’s life is probably very challenging. If you don’t need them, don’t park in them. It’s really not that difficult of a concept.