Monday, 29 February 2016

Handicap Parking Scofflaws


The city of Toronto has recently has been cracking down on able-bodied persons who use Handicap Designated Parking Spots without proper documentation (Handicap Parking window sticker or license plate) or with those fine citizens who use borrowed, stolen or fake permits.  It didn't take long to charge hundreds of violators, each with their own excuse.

  • Oh, its okay, I was only going to be a minute.
  • Its not my fault! I couldn't find any other spot. The lot was full.
  • Its a legitimate permit!  It belongs to my mother who is home and couldn't come along.
  • My leg was sore this morning - I thought it would be okay.

  • I found the permit.  You mean it was wrong to use it?
  • It just expired last month and I still don't feel one hundred percent.
  • This mall is private property...the city has no jurisdiction on private property!
  • You mean I can't a photocopy of my friend's legitimate permit?
  • Why should the disabled get all the breaks?!

Stuck in this wheelchair, I would give anything to be able to walk from the far side of the parking lot to the far end of the mall.  But I can't...

I somehow thought that those who are ambulatory and otherwise healthy would feel ashamed to take away parking spots from those that are in need of their proximity.  But there appears to be little shame these days.  It seems that many of us have become too busy, uncaring and self important.

'Baby-Boomers' are reaching that age where the body begins to fail us.  New drugs and innovative procedures are having us live longer.  Each year there are increasing requests for permits to be issued.

According to the Toronto Star Newspaper:

There are 119,000 people with permits in the GTA and 687,000 in Ontario, according to the ministry's records as of 2015.

Heavier fines for parking in an accessible space don’t appear to have discouraged the illegal use of disabled parking spots.

Although parking enforcement officers have slapped drivers with nearly $45 million in tickets for parking illegally in a space for the disabled since 2005, they have written about the same number of tickets each year.

The fine more than tripled in 2008. Parking enforcement doled out $1.5 million in tickets in 2007 and $4.5 million the next year but issued about 12,000 tickets a year.

Police seized 800 accessible parking permits for misuse in 2015. The fine for using someone else’s permit ranges from $300 to $5,000, for repeat offenders.

The Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) has also reported on the problem of Toronto drivers misusing handicap parking spaces.  It appears to run rampant and people really don't seem to have a 

Ensure handicap parking spots are well marked and kept clear of obstructions for the benefit of both the disabled client as well as to eliminate any doubt from the able bodied.

Other reports have people griping that many of these tickets are written simply as a "cash cow" - a means for the city to collect money for their coffers.  While I sympathize with those who feel the handicap parking spot was poorly marked, the onus really does fall on the driver to know where they are leaving their car.   

Unless you are Captain Ahab with a wooden peg-leg, you probably shouldn't be using this spot!

This fellow appears to be doubly diabled! is his brother!

No window permit, no disabled license parking!!!

Blindness is a disability.  Benefit of the doubt: may be a blind driver!

Captain Ahab's nautical friend.  What can I say?

Neither, rain, nor snow, nor disabled parking spaces, will keep us from delivering the mail!

Update 21/03/16 -Doesn't take long to add more idiots to this collection.  A gentleman confronted a woman leaving a Tim Horton's coffee shop as she was heading to her car parked in a handicapped parking zone.  She admitted to having no handicap but they proceeded to throw one of her coffees at the inquiring gentleman.  Videotaping this altercation on his cell phone, he said that the thrown coffee could be considered to be an assault. Further words were exchanged and the second coffee thrown.
Reports are that the police did visit the woman and reprimanded her, but for what was not explained.  She had parked illegally in a handicap parking spot, assaulted the inquiring gentleman with two coffees, and littered by throwing the cups.  Some people have no shame.

Click Here to view the video if no longer available in the original article.
 You stay out of my parking spot and I'll stay out of yours...
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