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home : opinion : columns February 5, 2016

7/7/2014 6:00:00 AM
Column: Handicap parking cheaters among us

Scott Schulte
Miner Reporter

I received an interesting email a few days ago from a very nice woman, Carol Costa, who explained a concern she had. Several months ago, Carol broke her leg and was issued a temporary handicap placard for her car. This gave Carol the right to utilize the handicap parking spots throughout town and elsewhere.

Carol said she quickly noticed the high number of people cheating on the use of handicap spaces.

As she put it, "What an eye opener! I can't believe the abuse that is happening to this privilege!

Hmmmm. This is one of those things that could really create a problem for drivers in need, so I decided to take a look around. Sure enough, there are people cheating when it comes to handicap parking. Not cool.

Only once did I consider cheating on handicap parking. As a Father's Day gift, I took my Dad to see Billy Joel at the Hartford Civic Center in 1996. We were very late and concerned we'd miss the opening of the show. We pulled into the parking garage and I knew my mother's handicap placard was in the glove box. There were a seemingly endless number of empty handicap parking spaces with the other parking spaces all filled.

I was tempted. Who would know? There was no way all of these handicapped spaces would be used on this one night. The rationale kept coming to me and I even suggested the idea to Dad. Typical to him, Dad simply said, "That's a whole different kind of mean."

I agreed and we eventually found a place to park and walked what seemed to be 10 miles and enjoyed a great night with the Piano Man.

Cheating on handicap parking is really one of those areas that gets under my skin. Sometimes a person will park in a handicap and walk to their destination. No judgment here ... I don't know why they have their placard.

I will say this, however. I watched a car full of three young people race through a parking lot. The car was a red convertible, the music was loud and the three occupants were certainly having a great time. After they parked, one of the three opened the glove box, pulled out the placard and set it on the rearview mirror. Laughing, she said, "Membership has its privileges!"

Again, I am not in place to judge whether or not this was a legitimate use of the handicap placard. I will say, though, that the triumphant attitude of the car's occupants made me very suspicious.

It's my hope we'll be mindful of those who truly need the handicap parking places. To do otherwise is just rotten.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@anonymous1 anonymous1

"We have unfortunately in society folks who are not happy unless they have something or someone to complain about,...."

And your writing comments every single day, that are rife with anger driven, but really funny, exclamation points is NOT doing just that?

"and more often than not suffer from low self esteem, sagging egos and need to find someone to look down on, denigrate to feel better about themselves,

Only a professional can determine if a person has any of the above problems. Yet you, the person who said:

"am I their doctor no"

And although I am curious what a fictional Ian Fleming character has to do with anything........You say you are not qualified to determine if a person has a physical disability. But you then claim you are qualified to diagnose a mental problem. Thank you, Doctor Anonymous. lol

"As a disabled veteran I have never wanted a disabled tag...."

What you say here, and do elsewhere cannot be proved. But it is possible that if you are a "disabled veteran" you have no problem identifying as one for VA health care services.

And no one at the VA will be checking to see if you have a vet bumper sticker.


Posted: Friday, July 11, 2014
Article comment by: wow amazed

Scott, welcome to the land of bitter people and those who drink the koolaid without thinking rationally.

Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Article comment by: Dennis Leary

I like to park in handycapped spaces and watch handycapped people make handycapped faces.

Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Article comment by: KDM online reader

8/25/2013 5:59:00 AM
Letter: Doubly disappointed in Kingman

My husband and I moved to Kingman two years ago. I have had five major back surgeries, so I have had, and still have, a handicap license plate. I went to Walmart Sunday around 10:30 a.m. and once again could not find a handicap space - but there were seven cars in two rows that did not have a handicap card in the window or a handicap license.

Every state I have been in, it's a $100 fine, and it is enforced. The other day my husband went to the convenience store there was a handicap space and a space next to each other. A very large SUV pulled into the handicap spot. My husband parked next to it. When he got out of the car, he said, "Do you know you parked in handicap?" Her reply was, "Nobody cares," and she kept walking.

Is it true nobody cares?

We were also disappointed in all the trash and weeds in all the lots and stores. Someone has to own all this property. It would make Kingman a better-looking place to live in.

Lynda Davidson


Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Article comment by: KDM online reader

Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2013
Article comment by: Frank in Kingman

Lynda, I went to Walmart last night and there was a woman driving a Walmart electric cart to her car eating a donut. When she got to her car, she walked just fine. So to answer your question, yes nobody cares.

Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Article comment by: anonymous1 anonymous1

I could have a disabled tag, but choose not to, but that being said I do not begrudge those who have them, and I do not question anyone's right to park in that disabled parking space, who am I to judge them, am I their doctor no! We have unfortunately in society folks who are not happy unless they have something or someone to complain about, and more often than not suffer from low self esteem, sagging egos and need to find someone to look down on, denigrate to feel better about themselves, hence we have them skin tone afflicted, those who denigrate other cultures, religious theologies, etc., the list is truly to long to list! Its like folks who see someone in a grocery line using them snap cards, used to use food stamps, some get angry, see imaginary fraud with no more proof than their prejudices, me I see them and feel only one thing, but for the grace of God there go I! One thing for sure no one can fix folks who have ill souls, minds one might fix a physical illness and even then not always, since cancer has yet to be conquered, but in the end we all meet Jesus some think he will know them, arrogance is a big mistake!

Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Article comment by: Sally Decker

The number of issued permits has skyrocketed. Most states today have a ratio of issued permits to issued driver license of 10-15%. Meaning fore each car driving there is a 10-15% chance that the driver or passenger in that car will have a handicap permit. Meanwhile ADA still only requires a minimum of about 2% of parking spaces to be handicap spaces. In short, demand far exceeds supply.

Current Issues:
1. Fraudulent placard use: Borrowing a relative/friends, placard owner stays in car while another goes into store, parking in access aisle (hashed area), etc.
2. Fraudulent placard ownership: Exaggerating symptoms, forging doctors signature, doctor shopping or bribing a doctor, doctors not fully understanding requirements, stolen placard, altering expiration date, illegal copy, illegally purchasing from third party, etc.
3. Vague and subjective permit qualifications. Ask 10 doctors to define limited or severely limited walking and you'll get 10 different answers.
4. Blatantly parking in handicap space without a placard.
5. Current demand greater than current supply

Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Article comment by: Tired of liars

"Looks like everyone with a guilty conscious is weighing in on this subject."

Ridiculous assumption. Why did you post then ? A guilty conscience?

Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Article comment by: Susan Fjeldahl

I couldn't agree with this more. It irks me to see people using these spots that don't need them, I'm a younger woman, but last year, I had a spinal cord injury, I have put on a lot of weight, due to being immobile and the meds they have me taking for my neuropathy. Everybody in the Walmart parking lot will park in the yellow lined area that are NOT even parking spots, and we have to always make sure there is a lined area next to the passenger side of our vehicle so I can have room to get my motorized wheelchair out, and I get so tired of getting dirty looks from people, almost as if they're saying I'm just being lazy, no, I have a valid reason, a disc ruptured in my spine and pinched a lot of the nerves off, leaving me partially paralyzed from the waist down. People are too judgmental

Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Article comment by: V Stokes

"All they need is for walmart to get enough complaints to force them to give the police permission to ticket in the lot."

Per KPD, they are completely authorized to issue citations or warnings to vehicles parked in handicapped spots that are not displaying proper plates or placards. Walmart has nothing to do with it, all they need is a call from anyone. I believe, but not sure, that they can also do the same for those parked unattended in the fire lane. As to the yellow lined off areas around the handicapped spots, I'm not so sure, since I don't believe they say no parking and are certainly not part of the fire lanes.

A simple email to KPD will answer your questions within a day or 2. Last time I inquired about something, I got very prompt and courteous responses from both the Chief of Police and City Attorney the next day.

Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Article comment by: jen w

I'm glad I'm not the only one who is annoyed by the people parking in the no parking zones at the stores. I had a sister in a wheel chair and every time I see someone parked in the area needed for the wheelchair lifts on vans it irks me. Those are no parking zones for a reason, morons.

Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Article comment by: Read and Learn

I think this is another eye opener from steve, we now know that many realize that some supposed handicapped people are very handy capable and some who appear to be taking advantage of the system may not be. Looks like another debate where both sides are correct.

Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Article comment by: April Bach

I see so many comments about getting out and exercising, eat less do more. I agree with that. Yes that will make you feel better all the way around, for those who are NOT handicapped. I recently injured my hip and back. Dr instructs to do only passive exercises in physical therapy. Even thought of going to walmart causes pain. If the store isnt big enough already you have to do the parking lot too. So the solution, avoid walmart!! lol. Everyone is judging everyone else. Just because that 20 something young lady walks normal and talks normal does not mean that she doesnt have a heart condition that you can not see. I have not requested a placard because I feel so many other people need to use them and have use for them. I do think that some people may take advanatage of handicap spaces. I see people parking in the do not block areas when the handicap spaces are full and sometimes when they are not full. I think that if you can walk then you should, if you cant then you should use your placard. At the same time, we cant instill our morals into grown adults. That should have been done when they were children. So what I see is bad choices made by ignorant people.

Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Article comment by: Why Do We Reward Bad Behavior Then Wonder Why There's So Much?

"...do we need police handing out tickets"? Yes I'm afraid we do. Instead of just overlooking these inconsiderate lawbreakers we need to make it expensive & difficult for them. It's the same scum disposing of garbage by dumping it out the car. Same folks with 60 items in the express line... They believe they're immune from rules. U,S. seems to overlook, tolerate, or even encourage bad behavior. Good in our society are tired of overlooking, accommodating & being inconvenience by scum.

Highly, I'm afraid statically they are obese because of poor eating habits & lack of exercise. A study in U.K. found 1% of the obese have a medical condition causing their obesity. The report states "conditions such as Cushing's syndrome and an underactive thyroid are rare causes of weight gain. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome may also be overweight. Some medicines such as steroids, some antidepressants, sulfonylureas and sodium valproate may contribute to weight gain. If you give up smoking, your appetite may increase and, as a result, you may put on weight. People with low mood or depression may also have a tendency to eat more energy-dense 'comfort' foods and so gain weight."

Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Article comment by: Pinto Beans

Looks like everyone with a guilty conscious is weighing in on this subject.

Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Article comment by: It's Hard Not To Judge

It's hard not to judge when those with handicap placards & license plates, bowl several times a week using 15-16 pound balls, go to the store & lift 40 pound bags of dog food or whatever. My husband uses a wheelchair, because he cannot walk more that 2-3 feet unattended and has a placard, if he goes with me to the store & chooses to stay in the car I always park in regulars spaces. I have never used the excuse he has the placard I should take advantage of it, it's not mine..We are older I also have health issues, but I am determined to do the best I can for as long as I can.

Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Article comment by: anonymous1 anonymous1

As a disabled veteran I have never wanted a disabled tag or even a tag identifying me as a veteran, I do not put anything on my truck identifying my veteran status! I do feel some whom are disabled deserve these special parking spaces, I thank God my disability still allows me to walk, wake up each morning, the thing about growing old, getting them age related issues added to my ones I gained via my time in the US Marines, has given me some time to reflect on what truly is important, if you wake up each morning count your blessings, someone goes to sleep each night and someone does not wake the next day! This old world has many problems almost all man made, but some not just fate or bad luck such as weather related or such, seems worrying about who is disabled or not is a small issue to dwell on! Obesity is sometimes a persons choice sometimes a genetic thing, I thank God I merely have the old age pot belly, comes with aging, was skinny as a rail as a youngster! There is no cure for the habitual complainer, whiner! I thank God he blessed me to be a non-whiner, got no skin tone issues, we all bleed red, we all die one day no matter what our race, culture, religious view or lack thereof, I feel sorry for the unhappy, miserable!

Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Article comment by: fed up

I work with a fella that has a permanent handicap plate that he got when his mother in law was in need of one but his mother in law has long passed away...but guess what he still gets to keep the plate every time he re-registers his vehicle. they need to check up on these people more often.

Posted: Monday, July 7, 2014
Article comment by: Handicappers Maybe

Those who park in the striped areas where there are no parking could be in for a rude awakening! They already ticket in Walmart lots in other states. All they need is for walmart to get enough complaints to force them to give the police permission to ticket in the lot. Come on people! Quit complaining in type and do it to walmarts main office. You have a computer! Do the same to the mngr of Walmart.
Now about those handicap signs, I have them permanent plates on my vehicles, not for me but my husband who is not wheelchair bound or cane dependent. To watch him you would think he doesn't need it either. Well, let me tell you. After almost getting run over numerous times by idiots and their cars I decided to get the plate so this BLIND person would not stray as far. You may have met him in the stores, he will help unload your basket, place bags in your cart and even offer to help you to your car and load your groceries in your car. He did it today for a cart bound gent. So don't pick on people you may not know anything about. I just wish the ones with the mobility carts, or people in General would be more considerate in their travels inside stores. Running into people with carts or bumping people is dangerous when your 97 percent blind and yes I know, but he refuses to use a cane.

Posted: Monday, July 7, 2014
Article comment by: Tired of Liars (and Hysterics)

"I remember when people used a wheelchair because they couldn't walk. Now they use them because they are fat, and just too lazy to walk."

Unless you have proof that every obese person is too lazy to walk, I suggest your retract your statement.

Posted: Monday, July 7, 2014
Article comment by: He He He

I remember when people used a wheelchair because they couldn't walk. Now they use them because they are fat, and just too lazy to walk.

Posted: Monday, July 7, 2014
Article comment by: Nay Shaw

If I had a choice, I'd pick not to be Disabled. I was born with one leg longer and after 40 years it decided to cause me to have Scoliosis, Bursitis, and Sacroiliitis involving my left side. On top of that I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia,
My primary doctor tells me to walk, my pain management doctor tells me not to walk. It is hard trying to lose the weight I have gained since I can't exercise per say. I eat between 500-1000 calories a day trying not to gain more weight.
The other thing is I do use a cane, I have the feeling like my left leg will give out on me if I don't have the cane.
We park in the yellow striped parking area, when there are no more Handicap spaces. The people who park in those spots that aren't Disabled need to get tickets.

Posted: Monday, July 7, 2014
Article comment by: Helen Keller

I have a hard time understanding the massive jacked up blue Ford pick up truck you need a ladder to get into, parking with a handicapped placard in a handicapped space.

Posted: Monday, July 7, 2014
Article comment by: Highly Amused

Some of those handicapped people who are obese are not obese by choice. Yes, there are those out there who eat and eat and refuse to stop doing so. But there are others who are obese who have thyroid problems and until that thyroid is brought under control, they can not lose weight. I am one of those people. My thyroid is still whacky, no matter how much I diet, exercise and live an otherwise healthy lifestyle, I can't lose weight. By the way, I don't smoke and never have, I don't drink as I'm allergic to alcohol and I don't eat fast food unless we're on a road trip and have no kitchen to cook in. Sometimes - just sometimes - those 'obese' people actually do need the handicapped parking. Yes, we look like being obese is our only issue, but sometimes we have rheumatoid arthritis or some other debilitating issue that doesn't allow us to walk far or often.

Please keep that in mind when you're haranguing any and all obese citizens.

Also keep in mind that Kingman has turned into somewhat of a retirement community...so there are many elderly here who need the placards/plates in order to not walk as far.

Posted: Monday, July 7, 2014
Article comment by: Kingmanmom .

Where is your proof these people are "cheaters" all I hear is accusations. I have a handicap place card, ooops did I walk a little too fast for you the other day? YOU have no idea if someone has a handicap or not! All judgemental people make me sick. And have a nice day!

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