To the Person Parked in Between the Handicap Stalls

Next time sir, please be respectful, and try to think of the implications your choices have on others, as well as the message you are sending to onlookers.
01/21/2016 05:35 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Dear sir in the Honda Accord,

You have illegally parked and stolen not one, but two handicapped parking spots. By parking in the bright yellow crossed-out section of pavement you have blocked off accessibility for anyone who needs to remove medical equipment from their vehicle. Those lines you so cleverly wedged your sedan into are there so disabled individuals have plenty of space to carefully remove their devices without harming themselves, or others in the process.

Does it look like someone could even open their wheelchair accessible van door, let alone lower a wheelchair onto the pavement? The answer is no.

Does it look like a patient, who has obvious mobility issues, could lug their bulky walker out of their door without hitting the side of your incorrectly parked car? The answer again is no.

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You have taken away a day at the mall for not one, but two individuals who are now unable to park. The worst of all, sir, is that you yourself had a handicap placard hanging from your rear-view mirror. I saw you quickly take it down after walking across the parking lot, squeezing back into your sedan, and driving away. Knowing clearly what these precious parking stalls are for, and what the yellow lines are clearly not for, you still chose to take park unlawfully.

Did you stop to think about those other cars already parked there? What if they had to wait out in the rain for you to return so they could get their equipment back in their vehicles, unable to simply leave because of your decision. Why do you get to decide that your disability is more important than theirs? I am disappointment that someone who claims to need an accessible spot chose to set such a bad example of those who wield handicap placards.

As a young adult bound to a heavy and quite cumbersome oxygen tank, those coveted spots are the only way I can safely exit and enter my vehicle. Without those spacious yellow lines I cannot maneuver my tank out of the door, leaving me headed home if no spots are readily available. Imagine if I had come out to you parked next to me in this illicit manner, unable to now get back in my car. Supplemental oxygen tanks only last so long, sir, and I plan my outings around the amount of oxygen I know I have available. While I do always bring an extra tank, that tank is located inside my vehicle, which is now inaccessible. The detour you are forcing me to take by not being able to merely leave when I need honestly puts my health at risk -- and that is not acceptable.

This kind of behavior is the reason why many of us are persecuted by society; why patients get talked down to and accused of "faking it" even when they have a placard. Your selfish act proved to everyone who saw your car parked on those unmistakable yellow lines that handicap spots are abused, even by those who supposedly use them legally. Your negligence to follow simple parking guidelines encourages observers to judge those of use who actually need these parking stalls, and even worse, potentially harms handicapped individuals.

Next time sir, please be respectful, and try to think of the implications your choices have on others, as well as the message you are sending to onlookers.