“Sure what’s the harm in parking on a disabled parking spot just for a minute to pop in to collect something in a shop? Sure most of the time no one is parked in those spaces!
“Anyway I do a lot of work for people with disabilities and I am sure the ones that know me wouldn’t mind me taking their space for the shortest amount of time. Sure you know me! I am so disorganised with my own life I didn’t even notice that I was parked on a disabled parking space! Some of the disabled parking spaces are in the wrong places anyway they don’t really suit the purpose they were intended for. You know it’s only the ones with blue paint that are official. The rest of them are just a bit of P.R. by the business they’re placed outside to make you think they care. Technically anyone can park on them!
“Anyway I am not from here and these spaces are completely different to the ones we have at home, honest to god I would never ever park in a disabled parking space at home. Seriously I only had two wheels parked on the space so technically I wasn’t really parked fully in the space. Sure I double parked on the outside of it didn’t you see my hazard lights flashing away to highlight the fact I had no intention taking up the space? I actually donate all my old clothes to the Wheelchair Association charity shop, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind me parking on one of their spaces every so often.
“Anyway if the Council were doing their job right and providing parking for everyone I wouldn’t be forced to park in a disabled parking space. Sure wasn’t there two disabled parking spaces side by side what was the chances of the two of them being needed at the one time. You’re only mad that I got the parking space before you, you don’t really care either, you’re just trying to show me up!”
Believe it or not some people actually believe these comments above or ones like them are good enough excuses for them to park in disabled parking spaces in towns all around the country.
I don’t think I have ever gone down the main street of my hometown and actually seen these spaces taken up by people that are entitled to park in them!
Maybe it’s the run into Christmas, or maybe it’s just me but there seems to be more and more motorists illegally and irresponsibly parking their cars in disabled parking spaces. I know most motorists do their bit and drive past a disabled parking space that is vacant and go and look for a space somewhere else to park. So you can just imagine how infuriating it is to find when you arrive back to see that same disabled parking space taken up by someone that is not entitled to park in it.
I once took issue with someone who parked in a disabled parking space. I watched them leaving their car with no disability or disability permit displayed or them neither assisting or collecting a person with a disability. I did this in frustration after seeing someone with a permit that obviously was depending on that space being available arriving to find the parking space taken up illegally.
The volatile response that I got from this person that illegally parked was unbelievable, they claimed that I was infringing on their rights in a public space.
For most of us we tend to give someone parked illegally the benefit of doubt. Maybe they weren’t aware, maybe they weren’t familiar with the area, or maybe that were trying to assist or help someone else. Unfortunately the grace we give them is the space they take advantage of. The reality in some of these occasions is that some of these people believed they are above everyone around them and the only person that they care about is themselves.
The more they try hard to hide this their mask slips ever so slightly when they perch illegally on a disabled parking space. This they can deflect in so many ways and actually make you feel sorry for them. But really they don’t care what you think. They will take their chances with the law, parking warden and they anger the public to take the space.
The more that spaces are provided for disabled parking the more this type of person looks at it as an opportunity. It’s as if they have no feeling within themselves that someone might be in more need of that disabled parking space than themselves. They will go ahead and park even under negative attention through looks of disapproval and will be abrasive if approached.
Of course not all people that park illegally in disabled parking spaces are like this. Some believe that because they have a permit in the windscreen even though the owner of the disabled permit is not present they are entitled to still use a parking space. Recently in Dublin a driver faced a fine of €3,000 or a six-month prison sentence for using their mother-in–law’s parking permit.
The person was caught as part of Operation Enable, a multi-agency initiative between An Garda Síochána, Dublin City Council, Dublin Street Parking Services, the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland and The Irish Wheelchair Association.
The campaign urges disabled permit holders to respect the conditions attached to the permits and not allow others to misuse them. This is a start to dealing with the people that park illegally in disabled parking spaces and it needs to be rolled out all over the county.
In putting this column together this week I asked a lot of drivers if they would park in a disabled parking space and all of them said definitely not. They also said it drives them mad when they see someone parked illegally in a disabled parking space.
If anything the people that park illegally in these spaces who think they are getting away with their actions or think they are a step above both permit holders and motorists that respect the need for disabled spaces and law, in fact, they are identifying their true selves.
They neither have respect or feeling or any sort for anyone else and the only one that they are fooling that is themselves.
There is only one time that one of these types of people will be honest with themselves and that’s when they jump the queue in a shop and demand that they are served right away. Their excuse for this special treatment! “Sorry I’m very badly parked outside!” Sad!
On the day my brother Peadar celebrated his first birthday my mother Mary Ellen told us all “now you are perfect steps.”
What she was saying was that in between Peadar’s birthday in December and mine in January there was one year exactly between each of us. In 1968 we were as follows, Peadar One, Cathal Two, Neilus Three and Brian four years old.
When Peadar’s second birthday arrived his mother was here but only just. She was very ill in hospital. In-between Peadar’s second birthday and my fifth birthday she slipped away on the 2nd of January 1970.
In between our two birthdays, we have Christmas every year where we are all meant to be happy but in life things are not just as perfect as that. This week my youngest brother Peadar will turn back the clock when he becomes an 0 with a 5 in front of it. Which makes up perfect steps in our family again which all of us now in the 50 club.
I am very proud of his achievements in his life, but with a house full of boys I never have told him, the week of his birthday is also the anniversary of our oldest two brothers Patrick and Eamon who were twins that passed away before any of us were born as infants 55 years ago on the 14th of December in 1962.
So Peadar your birthday is more than your birthday in our family, your birthday is our family’s celebration of 50 years of surviving what life has fired at us. Happy Birthday Sir.
Happy Motoring Folks.Tags: