Where's Wendy??

Wendy Saltzman's CBS Atlanta News Web Blog

Handicapped Parking Violators- Are you one???

                I’ve been off line for a while— my time swamped with training for Atlanta’s Thanksgiving Day Marathon, a few charity events, and working on a several investigations for the station.  But here is one investigation I thought it might be worthwhile to highlight in specific:

                The story we aired about Handicapped Parking Abuse prompted a huge viewer response.  In the interest of full disclosure, let me say two things… First, initially I was hesitant about the story.  It was my New Directors idea, and he was right, the more handicapped people we spoke with, the more it became apparent abuse of handicapped spots is a significant problem. It affects not only the quality of life for disabled persons, but also their safety.  And Second, I have been guilty of running in to grab coffee, and the parking lot has been full, and I have parked in a handicapped area (Yes, the stripped areas count as being part of the handicapped “spot”).   Doing this story was a real educational experience for me and opened my eyes to why those of us who are “capable” really have no excuse for ever taking advantage of those spaces, EVEN the striped marked areas next to the spaces, which are also handicapped reserved areas.

                As part of our report, we spoke with a very kind man names DJ Frazier, who lives his life in a wheelchair.  He is a full time businessman, and a taxpaying citizen, who lives a fairly active life.  One of the things he said to us was that when his daughter wants to go somewhere and can’t understand why he can’t get out of his vehicle because the handicapped spots are blocked it makes him feel like less of a father.  Why should anyone take that away from him, when all it requires is that we walk a few more feet.

                Here are excerpts from a few of the viewers who wrote into us:

 

Wendy, great job! It is about time somebody brought some attention to this issue.

Thankfully my Wife and I are healthy and do not need the parking but we have never been able to figure out why the police ignore this situation.

 

Wendy, great job! It is about time somebody brought some attention to this issue.

Thankfully my Wife and I are healthy and do not need the parking but we have never been able to figure out why the police ignore this situation.

 

 

I am so glad that finally someone has the guts to address this issue.THANKS!  I remember when the handicap parking became a reality. I supported it. The spots would be close, and plainly marked with a big blue wheelchair. I thought it would be for handicapped people. Not so. Very rarely do you see someone in a wheelchair use it. Your doctor will issue a handicapped sticker for a headache! 

 

Thanks for doing the story on handicap parking. If policeman issue  parking tickets for expired meters, why can’t they issue tickets for illegally parking in handicap spaces? I would like for these people to get the maximum fine. Also I think they should spend 8 hours blindfolded or strapped down to a wheelchair and let them maneuver from 40 feet away from a store. Maybe then they would be grateful not to be handicapped. The handicapped people would be glad to trade places and walk the longer distances.

 

Thank you Ms.Saltzman,
I caught the 11pm news last night you were reporting on the abuse of handicap parking. I commend you on your efforts. I live in Canton,Georgia (Cherokee County) I have a handicap card for my wife who is a liver transplant candidate  very often we frequent Wal-mart here in Canton off of 575 (exit20) and we are unable to park in the designated parking spots because of the abuse I call the attention to the door greeters, but to no avail.

 

Thank you for the news story focusing on the problem of non-disabled drivers parking in disabled parking spaces.  My daughter is disabled, and we have a disabled parking permit.  We never ever use this permit unless she is actually in the car.  Yet we consistently find people parking illegally in these spaces.  The need for these spaces is not merely convenience.  It is a matter of safety and accessibility.  I have even reported these illegal parking issues to police before when in a public grocery store or discount store.  I have been told by the police there is nothing they can do because the parking lots are considered private property owned by the stores.  So basically, there is no actual fine given.  I urge people to confront others when violations are seen.  The only way it will stop is if people make others feel the humiliation of being confronted by their wrongdoing.

 

                And  those are just a handful of the dozens and dozens of emails I have received.  I think it is all important that we hold law enforcement as well as illegal parkers responsible for breaking the law.  If you see someone parking illegally in a handicapped sport, please call the police, and then call us. 

 

 

 

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November 26, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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