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Thread: Handicap placard

  1. #1

    Handicap placard

    How tired are we with placcard abuse? I am frankly sick of it. In Miami, you will hardly ever see a wheelchair get off on the spaces reserved for vans, it is always this perky, seemingly perfectly healthy person, or a fat one eating ice cream.

    I think we should be heard, the ideas are not easy. But here is one.

    Would it be possible to unite 20, 30, 50 of us in wheelchairs in at least three or four major cities with a message to DO AWAY with handicapped parking spaces because the abuse is so rampant it provides no benefit to us? The authorities do nothing to stop the abuse, so lets even the playing field, no handicap placcards or parking spots.

    the idea obviously is not to do away with the spots, it is to catch the attention of a few media outlets and bring the issue to the forefront.

    Whether it is a good idea or not, I am not sure, but it is better than doing nothing.

    Can we do this?
    T6 complete (or so I think), SCI since September 21, 2003

  2. #2
    Do away with HP spots? Probably not a good idea. They might take it seriously and then we would really be screwed. I know it's a bigger problem in Fla than a lot of other places as you say from personal experience. I think a lot of people permanently borrow grandmas HP placard and that sort of thing is rampant. I don't really know what the solution is other than for law enforcement to really start running numbers on HP placards and make sure they are valid.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  3. #3
    Lets change the message then, but we should do something.
    T6 complete (or so I think), SCI since September 21, 2003

  4. #4
    Requirements for handicapped spaces is covered under Federal law (ADA), but implementation and enforcement is under state/local jurisdiction. Advocacy to change eligibility for placards/plates can take place at the level of your state legislature/regulators,and enforcement at the local/county/municipal level.


  5. #5
    There is this idea:

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    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  6. #6
    It's a definite problem here in FL, it's rare to find one empty...add to that the fact that alot of the time there are not enough spots allocated. My local Walmart has 10, 4 of those are for vans...(though keep in mind that not all of us have van's, but still use wheelchairs) On the other side of the coin is Bass Pro Shops, never seen so many spots for HC parking...I'm guessing around 25-30. I've always been able to park there. Walmart, if one doesn't open up in the 5 min I spend driving around, then I call it quits and go another day.
    The answer...don't know. But sometimes I think that it's way to easy for people to grab the hang tag to use in another car...I'd love to see Florida require the HC plates for parking, it sure would make it harder for those that want to steal gramma's tag to use our spots.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Indianapolis, IN
    Not everyone disabled owns their own car, or always travels in their car. I have disabled plates on my van, but I also keep my placard in my cushion cover because I travel in other peoples vehicles probably 5x as often as my own right now.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  8. #8
    There are a number of problems and solutions seem impossible to implement.

    1. Physicians freely sign off on HC parking applications even when they have relatively reasonable and objective criteria that their patients do not meet. They do not want to alienate "customers."

    2. The required number of spaces for ADA compliance was established years ago with no consideration of the current increasing number of aging related mobility disabilities.

    3. In many parking lots there are very few parking places that are close to entrances.

    4. Enforcement is complicated and passed over because of parking related ordinances that vary in local governments. Actually enforcement can be a money making enterprise if fines are high enough.

    I could go on, but the point is that solutions are difficult.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @

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  9. #9
    I agree with your points SCI, but the case in Florida and many other places is that too many times people seemingly healthy with no perceptible dissablity ride the cars, not even that many older people. Unless we assume that 95% of the dissabilities are hidden, and maybe 3 out of a hundred are wheelchair users, then the problem is that people are getting their hands on too many placcards, and most importantly, the authorities are not enforcing or even paying attention to the problem. The problem has to reach the media for something to happen. We want strict punishment to abusers, a strategy to catch them, make it easy for us to report them and some limited resources to follow up, their fines would go up substantially.

    It all starts with getting media attention, just like the VA did.
    T6 complete (or so I think), SCI since September 21, 2003

  10. #10
    Senior Member darty's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Las Vegas, NV
    Here in Nevada there is little to no enforcement the police are busy with larger matters. It's interesting that when my wife and I go out and we have another couple or some neighbors with us they want to ride with us because I can park close. They are always shocked that I rarely find a parking spot and more often than not have to park in the back of the lot across 2 spaces so my lift is not blocked when I come out. Here in Nevada these huge casinos have lot's of spaces and they are all full, everyone has a card or plates so how do you solve that problem?

    I will say at the VA hospital here in North Las Vegas they have general disabled parking, disabled parking for sci patients only (you must be a patient and display a special sticker) and they have wheelchair van only with side operated lift. They really do enforce it, they will tow a vehicle out of the sci spots without a sticker and I see them chasing cars and even suv's with rear mounted scooters out of the van with side lift only spaces all the time. I'm not sure they have the answer, it works but is a lot of work to police it.

    I know the ada was supposed to integrate us disabled people back into society and give us a fair shake. It was written from what I understand to treat all disabilities equal and give all of us equal access, but like most all programs that start out with good intentions it is heavily abused. We all know that not all disabilities are equal but do you want them to rewrite the law and classify people? The ssi and ssdi programs are so abused that they will soon run out of money. Everyone is disabled to some extent but should someone who has lost a finger be treated the exact same way as a high level quad? That is how the law is set up now.

    Besides the parking situation I also have problems even reserving an accessible hotel room. They usually sell out first and fast. People want a bigger room, with a bigger shower and most of the time when I'm traveling around the country by car they won't hold an accessible room for me. Like scifor55years said I could go on and on but the vary law that was supposed to help us now appears to be hurting us.

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