Why do Drivers Misuse Disabled Parking Bays?
I have the disabled parking bay rage!!
What thought process does somebody, who does not need to park in a disabled bay, go through when they actually go ahead and park in one? Are they lazy, is an extra few feet to the store simply too far? Is it ignorance, do they really just not think properly nor realise what problems they are causing? Is it discrimination, do they willingly and with malice, compromise access for a disabled person? Do they not accept disability as a good enough reason to need a priority parking space and have they been brainwashed by the news that many people claiming disability benefits are in fact fraudsters? Not everyone should be tarred with the same brush, and one should not assume that just because someone does not use a wheelchair or appear outwardly or physically disabled that they do not need a blue badge, there are many different forms of disability.
My Husband is registered disabled, he has a European Blue Badge (disabled parking badge) and relies on crutches and a wheelchair to get about day to day. We need these parking bays not only to be closer to the place we need to be, but also for the space allocated around the car in order to get in and out, load and unload the wheelchair from the boot and for Hubby to transfer into the wheelchair. A normal parking space for us is no good, there's just not enough space.
All to often we arrive in a car park and find that the parking bays designated for Blue Badge holders are filled with cars not displaying the badge, and a lot of the time passengers are sat waiting whilst the driver is in the store doing their shopping. So why do drivers who do not need these spaces continue to flout the law and do as they please and should they be confronted on the spot in the absence of a traffic warden?
Ignorant Taxi Driver
When visiting an industrial estate recently I was disgusted by a black cabbie who had parked in the dsiabled bay right outside the shop we wanted to go in.
Not only was he parked in a disabled bay, he was parked in TWO! Diagonally parked across two bays thus robbing a disabled driver their easier access to the shop. In his cab he'd left his son whilst he and his partner popped off to shop. Needless to say he was not displaying a Blue Badge. So, no badge and badly parked, imbecile.
The fact that the car park had catered more than adequately for disabled drivers was neither here nor there, and in fact it being a Tuesday the car park was quiet - plenty or normal spaces available to park right across. So we had to park three paces further away from the shop, not a hardship particularly but I still got the blue badge rage. What gave him the right to park in that space? Bad parking aside, if the car park had of been busy he would be taking up valuable space from someone who genuinely needed it.
On this occasion the driver did look a little tough, as most black cabbies are, and hubby asked me not to say anything to him, which was a good judgement that time.
DIY Store Craziness
A Volvo is parked in a disabled badge outside our local B&Q, no driver but the rest of the family sit and wait. Guess what, no disabled badge is displayed. We had to park at the other end of the car park and as we wheeled past I thought, I'm going to call you on this. I let hubby go inside and doubled back to speak with the passenger. I pointed at my hubby who could be seen in his wheelchair disappearing into the store and explained the struggle we had in a normal sized space at the far end of the car park and why we need the disabled parking bay.
No apology, nothing, just "my husband will be back soon". Well, I nearly lost it! She just didn't get it, not a flicker of recognition or understanding. I guess some people just cannot be reached.
Members of Staff
Next, Ikea, Tesco, Asda - all places where I have seen members of staff park in disabled bays, and these stores have massive car parks. Why would a member of staff think that they should use up a parking space not meant for them and thus making it more difficult for customers to park? The managers of the stores should monitor the situation and make sure that each member of staff knows where to park, I mean it's surely common sense, isn't it?
A Plea to all Drivers
Please think about where you park, not everyone will do this, but some will. If you see someone parked in a disabled bay without a badge, call them on it. You never see a traffic warden when you want one, but the more people stand up to these selfish drivers then perhaps the less they will do it. Obviously gauge the situation and never put yourself in harms way, but sometimes you succeed in embarrassing someone rather than angering them (or they will endeavour to ignore you) but maybe, just maybe, it will make them think on and hopefully they wont do it again. Have we all got the guts to do that, or is it easier to remain quiet and use dagger eyes instead?
I fear I've asked more questions than I have answered and I would very much like to hear your experiences and thoughts on why this happens all to often.
© 2012 mooboomoo