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Two years ago I wrote a lengthy rant about one of my big hot button issues — people who abuse handicapped placards:
Let me just be as blunt as possible — if you use or have ever used a handicapped parking permit that you were not legally entitled to use, then you are a pathetic piece of shit. No two-ways about it.
I stand by that opinion.
The Houston Chronicle reports today that the huge problem persists here in Texas, and that lawmakers are considering new laws to combat the abuse:
Surveys indicate that in downtown areas of cities like Austin, Houston and San Antonio, between 30 percent and 65 percent of vehicles parked at meters or in accessible-parking spots are displaying a disability placard that is being abused or fraudulently used, said Houston parking official Liliana Rambo.
I’ve always suspected that a bunch — if not a majority— of people using handicapped placards were doing so fraudulently. It’s obvious watching most people walk from their cars that they are not the one that needs that reserved spot.
The blue handicapped placard — the one I see hanging on someone’s rear view mirror the most often — is issued for people who cannot walk without an assistive device or must use a wheelchair. But the majority of people I see exiting their car not only do not have an assitive device or wheelchair. Most, in fact, seem to be walking just fine.
Roland Guzman of Helotes, who uses a wheelchair and is a member of the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities, said, “You do find a lot of people that just run into a convenience store, (saying) ‘Well, I was just going to be there for a few minutes.’ … We need to educate everybody.”
If I see a car without a placard or handicapped plates in handicapped spot, I almost always “educate” the drive if I see them. I’m seldom polite about it.