Special Parking

I remember back to the 70’s, around the time Maryland (and I assume nationally), the Handicapped Parking system began. Around the same time, my Mom suffered a serious stroke. Shortly after, my Dad looked into obtaining the special tags. Back then, they didn’t have the hang tags for the mirror / windshield.

Since Dad had to drive Mom everywhere and she was wheelchair bound, it was a blessing for them.

As with all government programs, the door opened to lots of abuse and fraud.

5-6 years ago, I developed a painful hip condition which limited my walking abilities. Early on, I couldn’t stand for any long length of time or walk long distances. This qualified me, for a Handicapped parking pass, which I applied for and received. Basically, it requires a written request from your doctor. Since, I’m still physically limited, I continue to use the pass.

In Delaware the pass which hangs on the mirror is valid for 3 years. After which, it has to be renewed by the doctor. I have had mine for 6 years and about to enter the next 3 year term.

Sad to say, I have to admit, over all those previous 6 years, I’ve never seen the rules regarding the pass enforced. The DMV recommends that you remove the hang tag when driving. Many times, I’ve parked in a restricted space and forgotten to place the tag on the mirror. Technically, I was in violation and should have been cited. It never happened. (Not that I wanted a ticket).

Over the years, I’ve seen numerous others violate the rules. Vehicles with no tag or mirror tag often parked in the special spots and never ticketed.

Of course I understand, in the world of Police priorities, parking patrol is on the bottom of the list.

Well now, I can finally say, I witnessed the enforcement. While parked at the North Wal-Mart (in a Handicapped spot), I was waiting for my wife, who was still in the store. A local police car pulled up behind me. The officer got out and started looking around at the tags. The car to my Left, the one in front and one adjacent to that car, were not properly tagged. Also, there was a section marked off, not a parking spot with a car.

The officer returned to his car and got out the ever feared ticket book. It was amazing. I’m not sure of the amount of the fine, but I assume it’s quite hefty, especially for parking. They all got one.

I can only assume that the police started cracking down due to a complaint or two from customers or customers indirectly, complaining to Wal-Mart.

I thank the police for properly ticketing those vehicles. I’m sure you’ve been in your car somewhere and you see someone violating some rule; parking, speeding, cutting you off, whatever.. then you’ve said “where’s a cop when you need one”.. Finally, Officer Handy appeared. (let’s see that was the first, out of two zillion times… hmmmm)

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