Robert T. Sollenberger: Honor handicapped spots |

Robert T. Sollenberger: Honor handicapped spots

Well said, Mr. Smith. You have my deepest respect and admiration for the care that you give your disabled daughter, and also my apologies for the members of the public who “just don’t get it.”

For four years in the late 1990s, I led a group of 20 citizen volunteers in Virginia Beach, Va. whose sole function under the police department, in addition to public education, was to patrol and issue citations to violators of handicapped parking laws. Sadly, we were very, very busy. When questioned, the two most common excuses we heard from violators were: “I was only going to be here for a few minutes” and “If I had known the fine was that much I wouldn’t have parked here.” Our response was always a short and simple “Wrong answer, sign here…”

Several reminders to the public. One, it’s not all about you. Societies are best judged by how they treat their very young, their very old, and those unable to fend for themselves regardless of age. Two, handicapped parking tags and placards are issued only to the mobility-impaired individual needing them; just because you have “borrowed” Grandma’s handicapped-tagged car or placard does not authorize you to use them to park illegally. Three, the arrogance displayed when you violate handicapped parking laws is unconscionable and unforgivable. Shame on you!

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