Handicapped Parking Permits

Typically states issue handicapped parking placards to people who have a handicap that either limits or impairs their ability to walk. This includes individuals 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
  • Are restricted by lung disease
  • Use portable oxygen
  • Are severely limited in their ability to walk, due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition
  • Are blind
  • Have a cardiac condition to the extent that the person's functional limitations are classified in severity as Class III or Class IV as determined by the American Heart Association
    (Class III. Marked limitation of activity. Shortness of breath, fatigue, or heart palpitations with less than ordinary physical activity, but patients are comfortable at rest.Class IV. Severe to complete limitation of activity. Shortness of breath, fatigue, or heart palpitations with any physical exertion and symptoms appear even at rest)
The placards may be used to park in reserved parking spaces only when the person with the disability is driving or riding in the vehicle. People who are not disabled cannot use someone’s placard to park in a reserved space.

The rules are clear! Why then is there so much abuse of the system? It is not unusual to see someone trot out of a supermarket to their automobile parked in a handicapped parking space. Hanging from the rear-view mirror is a handicapped parking placard. The placard probably belongs to a relative or the placard was obtained fraudulently. It has also been suggested that although the individual does not appear to be handicapped he or she may have a heart condition. The heart conditions which qualify as a disability hardly describe someone walking gingerly along carrying several bags of groceries. The answer in my mind is simple. Abuse of the handicapped parking system is nothing more than egocentricity which pervades society today. It is sad to see someone limping along with a cane looking for their car in a remote part of the parking lot because all the handicapped parking spots are taken (not all by handicapped people).

What’s the solution? I sure don’t have one. Civility apparently is not part of our culture. Of course more handicapped parking spots could be freed up if doctors would not acquiesce to cry- babies and certify a disability for them. Again this will not happen.

Before leaving this subject I must point out another abuse of the system. The placards clearly state that the placard should be hung from the rear-view mirror when parked, but should be removed from the the mirror when driving. How many times have you seen a stiff necked senior with little peripheral vision driving merrily along with a placard hanging from the rear-view mirror?

1 comment:

Caroline said...

When my mother, who had a lung condition, a heart condition, a visual condition, and a mental condition, died my brother-in-law asked if he could inherit her handicap hanging thing. I told him to be careful of what you wish for as you may end up with one out of necessity instead of laziness. Guess what? I don't think there is anything we can do about the people who cheat the handicapped system, or any other system. But I have the belief that they will get theirs before the end, and soon you will see them hobbling with a cane, cursing the cheaters of the handicapped parking lot. Pay back can truly be a *@%&^ can't it?