Free money for the city

Published 2:22 pm Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I went to McDonald’s for lunch on Wednesday, and I saw it again: Someone without a handicap parking placard on his rearview mirror or a handicap license plate parking in a space reserved for handicap people.

This was the third time in about three weeks that I have seen this at this restaurant, and I don’t consider myself to be a frequent customer at McDonald’s. The first time I saw it, the people took off before I could do anything about it. The second time, I went up to the driver and asked him why he parked there, and he gave his classic response, “I don’t know.” This time, I had a camera with me, and took a picture.

Why? I’m thinking that a lot of these people think that nobody sees them do it, so it doesn’t matter. This way, a lot of people can see who is parked there illegally, so maybe I can embarrass people into obeying the law.

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If you recognize this car, feel free to give its owner all kinds of grief about parking in a space that is made for those who need it, not for them. If they get mad about the publicity, remind them that if I had been a police officer, they would owe the city a $100 fine, plus any court costs, so they can thank their lucky stars that they were saved that expense.

You can clearly see the handicap symbol underneath the car. I intentionally blurred the license plate for the sake of the driver’s privacy, so you will have to take my word that the car does not have a handicap license plate. However, if officials would like the license plate number, I would be glad to share that with them.

I have written two commentary articles already about how these people are stealing these parking places from those who need them. My point is that these parking places are set aside by law for those who have trouble walking into a business — not for those who need to shave a few seconds off of their not-that-busy schedule.

This is stealing, people. This is theft. It is taking a service that is not intended for you, and there is a sizable fine to go with the crime. Park somewhere else and get some exercise by walking the extra 20 to 30 feet into the business and let those who really need the special parking places use them. Like I said before: Don’t put yourself in their place.