Saturday, 5 December 2015

"That parking space is reserved for

people with disabilities." 
From memory Upover also has such parking spaces. They are under discussion again in this morning's paper. Our one MP from the "Dignity for Disability" party has raised the possibility of not just a fine but demerit points for people who park in such spaces without a permit.
Let it be said that nobody expected that young MP to get a seat in parliament. She was second on the ticket and it was only the unexpected death of the first person that saw the party - and thus her - get a seat.
I admit I thought she would be out of her depth for a while - and she was. She struggled initially simply because there was so much to learn and adjustments had to be made to accommodate her. A lot of people rallied around and helped - sometimes to the point where she has been overwhelmed with advice. But the demerits points idea was, I think, her own. She relies on being able to use those designated spaces too.
This idea is not going to be welcomed by those who think it is perfectly all right to park in a designated parking space - without a permit. Oh yes, there are plenty of them out there. I have even had my own friends suggest they should park in one so as to help me. I have had to explain more than once that I don't have a permit and they cannot use the space without one.
The Senior Cat has a permit to use such spaces. (The permit goes with the person, not the vehicle.) Middle Cat has had a temporary permit while recovering. Both of them try not to abuse the privilege. Recently I went to a meeting with a friend who has had a permit for some years. He got it reluctantly when it became obvious that his energy was better expended on doing what he had to do rather than walking to where he had to do it. 
Miracle. We found a designated space near our destination. I went to haul his walker out of the car for him when there was a toot behind us. There was another vehicle with someone we both recognised. She needed the space even more than he did.
"I'll move," he called out to her.
We moved several spaces down to a "normal" spot. She moved in. He hung up his permit on the inner rear vision mirror while I hauled his walker out. (His permit allows him extra time in a normal spot.) I went and hauled her walker out as well - otherwise she would need to phone for someone to come out and help her. 
We went into the building just as the parking inspector was coming along. She checked the permits in both cars, gave us a wave - and made sure the driver just pulling in next to my friend left plenty of space for him to get in again.
It was a small gesture on her part we all appreciated. I just wish that all other drivers would realise that those designated spaces are there for a reason - and that even some people with disabilities need them more than other people with disabilities.


jeanfromcornwall said...

I have to admit that I used to see people, who I knew were perfectly able, get out of swish cars they had parked in the disabled slots and in my head I would shout (coarsely) "Which one of you is the cripple?" Never did, but wanted to. Of course, disability is not always something visible, but there is anecdotally a lot of misuse of the badges, and the concessions. Some people just don't get it.

Helen Devries said...

Just reading Jean from Cornwall's comment I have to say that I had no such inhibitions while living in France where abuse was rife.
The exchanges did wonders for my colloquial vocabulary.

catdownunder said...

I am inclined to side with Helen and say something aloud Jean!