Letter to the Editor

Handicapped parking spaces abused

Saturday, February 11, 2006

To the editor:

I attended two basketball games at Immanuel Lutheran School in Perryville, Mo. I parked in one of the four handicapped parking spaces. The school had provided hash-marked areas to allow comfortable access. When I attempted to leave, a small car had parked on the hash-marked area. There was no room to get my electric scooter, which I use due to the long-term effects of childhood polio, close enough to get into the driver's seat. The Perryville police were summoned. The officer said he could not write a ticket since the markings were not legal. It seems some people had argued the letter of the law when they got ticketed for this offense, and the judge had dismissed the cases. The police don't write tickets unless the signage is legal and the private property owner gives permission to ticket violators. The owner of the vehicle gave a lame excuse about being late for his son's game.

I noticed two other vehicles parked in handicapped spots with no visible legal plate or hang tag. When a man started to get into one of the vehicles, I inquired if he had appropriate reason to park in the spot. He replied that his hang tag was in the glove box. When I asked the woman driving the second vehicle, she fumbled around and pulled out a hang tag. Even at my church and school I see this sort of thing daily. How are children supposed to learn respect for rules if adults don't lead by example?