Park where you’re supposed to

Published 10:55 pm Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I was pulling into the parking lot for the Linden board of education meeting on Tuesday when I saw a car pulling out of a parking space reserved for the disabled.

He did not have a disabled driver’s placard hanging from his rearview mirror, and he didn’t have a disabled driver license plate.

I don’t know if he was disabled or not, but in my mind, that shouldn’t matter. The car didn’t have anything indicating the driver was disabled, so he should not have used that space.

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Unless the driver is illiterate, there is no way he could not have known the space was reserved for disabled drivers. There were two signs in front of the space letting the literate know that the space was reserved for disabled drivers. Even for illiterate drivers, there is a symbol indicating that the space is for disabled drivers.

I know that this is a problem nationwide, but not serious enough to warrant police intervention. What can people do to let people know that they are not just breaking the law, but taking a reserved space from someone who needs it more?

Well, when you see it happen and there is a law enforcement officer nearby, let him know. Point out the vehicle and show him that there are no disabled placards or license plates on the car. Even if it is owned by a disabled person, it needs to have these items in plain view before parking there.

I also know that there are people who abuse the privilege, people who are related to disabled people who borrow their placards to get a better parking space.

There is not much we can to to prevent that, I don’t think. Even someone who looks able-bodied may have a condition that is not so obvious that requires him to park closer to stores.

All we can do is turn in the obvious violators. It is up to us to help others in this and any other situation where people need help. If enough people get tickets for this violation, then maybe people will stop parking where they aren’t supposed to.

Maybe we can help spread a little education ourselves.