Recently, as we were walking from our car into our local Walmart, Karen noticed a small car near the front of the parking lot and mentioned that she had had never noticed a Nissan Versa before, that it was smaller than our Honda CRV. I really hadn’t either until just a couple of weeks earlier when I posted an image of one in a photo post, Stop Action Note, on Haw Creek. We had noticed it, I guess, because we had talked a bit about getting a newer car that we would still be able to tow behind our small motorhome.
The parking spot was a handicap spot, but there wasn’t a disabled license plate on the car. A short while later, we happened to be next to the same Nissan Versa in traffic and I saw that there was an ADA1 hang tag on the mirror. I sincerely doubt that it belonged to the driver.
After some health issues, I had recently decided that I was going to be less judgmental about healthy appearing people using handicapped parking. I have never been to the point where I have needed – or wanted – to be able to use the handicap parking spots, but I can now certainly understand the need for some people, even if there is nothing visibly wrong. “Just because somebody isn’t using a wheelchair, walker or cane, doesn’t mean that they don’t need the handicap spot.”2
The young driver had spryly ran up to the car before he drove off.
In our state, the Disabled Person (DP) placards/certificates and license plates give disabled people special parking privileges in designated areas when they are the driver or a passenger of the vehicle.
“Misuse and abuse of disability permits is an issue inside and outside of the handicap community. Legally and ethically, people who have not been issued a handicap parking permit must not park in the handicap spots. That includes non-disabled friends and family. No ifs, ands, or buts. The permit owner needs to be present whenever the permit is being used. Ignoring this rule could result in fines for you and the person who borrowed the permit. Your permit can even get revoked.”2
In Arkansas, “misuse or abuse of these privileges is a Class A misdemeanor; offenders can have their vehicles impounded or fined up to $100-$1000 and/or have their license suspended for 6 months.”3
That very healthy looking young man who ran up to and got in the Nissan Versa in that handicap parking spot was likely not the person who the placard belonged to. If it was his, he must been having a really good day.
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- 4 Tips You Need to Know About Handicap Parking Etiquette
- Information for Disabled Drivers in Arkansas – DMV.com, a privately-owned website and is not affiliated with government agencies.