Does this sound familiar? You approach the accessible parking spots designated for people with a disability. But there are no empty spots. Worse still, some of the cars parked do not have disability parking permits displayed.
There are many excuses people use for parking illegally. DiVine has heard many of them. We have also been speaking to other people recently about excuses they have heard.
Some common excuses we have heard include
I won't be a minute, I didn't see the sign and
I have a disability, I just forgot my card. Others that you hear regularly include
I didn't realise that I was not allowed to park here and
I need to drop off a few heavy things, I won't be a minute.
You also encounter more apologetic people. Their common lines include
I only needed to slip in and pick up something, I am so sorry and
I am sorry and won't ever do it again!
Question the law
Some excuses question the law. They include
I am a pensioner therefore I am entitled to park near the shop and
I'm pregnant and need to be closer to the shops. There are also excuses like
I don't have a sticker, but I find it very difficult to walk.
Some excuses are more aggressive. We have heard
Why should you be privileged? you don't look disabled and
If the police can park here, why can't I? Other common excuses include
My foot hurts! and
I was going to miss my flight if I didn't park there. We have also heard people say
It was raining and I didn't want to walk in the rain and
I'm doing a few things for my dad and it's his permit! It's the same!
Sometimes you need to be brave to challenge someone. DiVine reader Sally saw a ute parked in an accessible spot. The gentleman got out and hurled a huge bag of ice over his shoulder. Sally asked him why he had a disability parking permit.
I had a heart operation three years ago, the man said. She replied
I thought those operations were to cure you! The man walked away laughing. His permit had been expired for six months.
Unfortunately, it seems the best way to stop this behaviour is strict enforcement by parking officers. Clear signage and better street lighting might also help. It would also be great to see some education for new drivers as part of obtaining a driving licence. New drivers should be told why accessible parking spots are so important to many people with a disability.
What are some of the excuses you have heard from people parking illegally in accessible parking bays? Let us know in the comments section below.