On a busy Sunday afternoon, I was taking a walk in Community Park in Parksville.
A woman with a wheelchair at the back of her car and an old man sitting on the passenger seat, politely asked a man if he could move his truck off a handicap spot he occupied.
Sitting in his truck having a smoke, he categorically refused to move, saying that he has a handicap tag displayed at his truck’s windshield and that he has the right to be at this handicap space and won’t move.
Unfortunately the “careless man” (by law) had the right not to move.
Those handicap spaces are designed and meant for people with reduced mobility, to have enough room to make an easier out or access to their vehicle with a walker, a wheelchair, etc.
Why would anyone who has a “Disabled Parking Permit” be allowed to occupy a handicap space to sit in their vehicle eating a sandwich, to read the newspaper, or even have a snooze for a couple of hours?
I see some disabled permit holders, dropping off someone to do some shopping while waiting in their car.
Another example. Almost every day I see a younger man and an older man, (I believe son and father) parking in a disabled space, then go for a nice long walk.
If you can walk such long distances, you’re obviously not eligible for a disabled permit.
Because of all those people abusing, or taking advantage of the system, it should be one simple bylaw.
When using a handicap space, the occupant must have the intent to use the extra space to facilitate his/her way around.
If you are a disabled permit holder, don’t occupy a handicap space by just sitting in your car admiring nature.
Other people have much better reasons to be using those spaces in much more proper ways.