Just as there are people who need to park in disabled parking place, there are people, most people, in fact, who do not need to park in a disabled parking space. Prior to co-owning our business, my spouse and I had the unpleasant experience of working for a person who had a particularly vile penchant for parking in disabled parking spaces even though this person was able bodied (albeit, feeble minded). This person’s excuse for parking in disabled parking spaces was that, you guessed it, they are located closer to the destination and thus, are more convenient. On the occasions when I was a passenger in one of several luxury cars driven by my boss, I attempted to shame this person by expressing my belief in all things karmic, including that, one day, after all the years of scamming the system and cheating a disabled person out of a parking space in the name of convenience, there would come a time when she would actually need to park there. Of course, things being what they are, my prediction has, thus far, not come true. However, when an able bodied person “steals” a disabled parking space from someone who desperately needs it, there is nothing one can do to claim his/her rightful parking place. My former boss is a wealthy person who laughingly paid the fine associated with parking in a disabled parking space without a permit, but paying the fine does nothing to benefit the person who, like my late mother who walked with a cane, then a walker, until she was pushed by a care giver in a wheelchair, has a legitimate disability or physical limitation from parking close to his/her destination. This is one instance in which I hope John Lennon was right: “Instant karma’s gonna’ get you.”
I, too, hope karma, or something, will have a way with the person Melissa references. I don’t know if it will, but neither of us had ever experienced anything like we observed with this person Melissa mentions. One hears stories about people who abuse parking privileges such as this, and though at the time of these events we did not know people who NEEDED a disabled pass, abusing it was so foreign to us that we commented. The person in question showed no comprehension, or more accurately, concern, that she could be causing problems for other people. And, as it would turn out, this was true for her in everything she did. For me, this is a black and white issue. Even using the vehicle of a person who has a disabled permit when they are not present is wrong; the parking space is not legally accessible absent the disabled person who needs it. We’ll never know how many people abuse the privilege in that way. But, I can just hope that, at least occasionally, police officer will be around when this happens, even if the abuser is inhumanly immune to the troubles they cause others.