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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Tamara

Attitudes about "Handicapped Parking"

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Just wait until I get back to work and start parking my police car in those spots, with my placard on the mirror of course.

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Thanks for your replies. After reading your responses, I agree that I will now only use the H.C. spots on my "bad" days or when I'm using my crutches. Having said that, yesterday morning I had an "incident" that did some damage to my residual limb. (I still don't like the"stump" word). I tried wearing my leg, but it looks like I will be on crutches for the next few days. :sad:

'Tamara',

I feel I have every right to those spaces after what I have been through {maybe I'm feeling sorry} for myself tonight...and never- never will I ever call my leg a stump. I like you hate that word!! :angry:

'Ally'

Girlfriend, you certainly can come up with some real zingers. :wink:

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Also, I'm glad you mentioned ruining your leg by walking too much. No one likes to admit defeat, but I think it's more about being sensible. The damage you do to your body is individual and depends upon lots of things, including things like your back and what your other leg is like ... more ruining usually goes on with more abnormal gaits, so the effect would be worse on an AK than a BK and worse on a double than a single amp. The damage can also be cumulative and so your joints can age faster than non-amps. So, I hope you'll agree?, that all supports being sensible and using the disabled parking bays when you need to and not being a brave soldier. :wink:

Exactly, no two amputees are the same with regard to what you mention above. Just because one amp can walk ten blocks at a fast pace doesn't mean we all can.

My car has skydiver vanity plates, a scuba flag framing the rear vanity plate and a bike rack on top in the summer. I'm always self-conscience of how I'm being judged when I park in a handicapped space. :unsure:

I agree here, no two amputees are the same, sometimes no two days are the same, for me anyway. As a bilateral, some days I can walk fine, some not at all.

I used to be a bit self-conscience of being judged, like you Amy, when I parked in a disabled bay, have had numerous comments and 'the looks' from people over the years, who obviously think I shouldn't have parked there, but nowadays I just couldn't care about them, and do my own thing, depending on how I am feeling.

Tamara

Don't feel you have to worry about what you 'have' to call your leg. Its your leg so call it what you want. I don't think I used the word 'stump' for many years and had not heard the term 'residual limb' until about five years ago, I always used to refer to mine as 'my legs'. My children, when they were small, used to refer to them as 'mums little legs'.

BTW hope your leg is not hurting so much today.

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I often park my motorcycle in disabled parking spaces because I find that if I park in a regular M/C bay and another bike parks next to me then I cannot get onto my bike because I don't have the space I need. I accept that you can't see my disability when I'm wearing my leathers and I accept that most people don't expect someone who is disabled to be riding a motorcycle.

So, just be sure that the vehicle you leave the note on is actually not supposed to be there. Motorcycles, topless cars or even trikes can all be ridden/ driven by disabled people but rarely hav somewhere to leave a badge on display.

Actually, Grum, to be perfectly honest with you, I'd have issues with finding a motorbike in a disabled parking bay. Can't you just park in a normal car parking bay and add a 'polite' message to other bikers, or possibly park in such a way that they can't park next to you? Or that, even if they do, you can still swing your leg over your bike?

At the moment, for various fitting reasons, I feel as though I'm crawling on concrete with my AK and both my hips and my knee are playing up. If I came across a motorbike in a disabled bay now, then I'd do something pretty drastic ... disabled sticker or no. :ph34r: And, my reasons, apart from me being more disabled than you? It's simply that I can't balance on a bike and, more importantly, that motorbikes are easier to park than cars. :rolleyes:

Btw, I'm not agreeing with that bloke who stuck something on your car - that's just sheer laziness.

I think you are getting away from the fact that someone is disabled has a right to use disabled facilities. Because he is less disabled then you, he is not allowed the same rights as you? I also know of double amps riding (BK and Ak) so would they not be consider as disabled as you? Who decides whom is more disabled? Just because someone rides a motorcycle, it does not mean they can walk long distances. As a motorcycle rider we have the same right to disabled parking of which I use when it is available which is not very much in Asia. To say that motorcycles are easier to park is a fallacy also. As mine weights 650 lbs it can be quite hard rolling it backwards with one leg especially on any type of grade or bad surface. Just as you expect able body people to cut you slack and respect you; you should do the same to those that you feel are not as disabled as you. Don't use double standards.

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I think you are getting away from the fact that someone is disabled has a right to use disabled facilities. Because he is less disabled then you, he is not allowed the same rights as you? I also know of double amps riding (BK and Ak) so would they not be consider as disabled as you? Who decides whom is more disabled? Just because someone rides a motorcycle, it does not mean they can walk long distances. As a motorcycle rider we have the same right to disabled parking of which I use when it is available which is not very much in Asia. To say that motorcycles are easier to park is a fallacy also. As mine weights 650 lbs it can be quite hard rolling it backwards with one leg especially on any type of grade or bad surface. Just as you expect able body people to cut you slack and respect you; you should do the same to those that you feel are not as disabled as you. Don't use double standards.

I wasn't using double standards, Jeff! :mad:

I'm not in the habit of judging people. And, I've been doing this stuff since I was tiny so am aware, more than most, of facts such as wheelchair users using sports cars and amps riding motorbikes.

What I was objecting to was the fact that he used a disabled parking bay for his motorbike. Why does he need so much space? And why can't he leave a note (wheelchair users often leave notes if they need other road users to leave more space) for other bikers to ask them to park with more courtesy? And, why can't he park on 'double yellows' (that's allowed, with certain restrictions, in the UK)? And, why can't he move the bike away from where he parked it and then mount it? Btw, motorbikes are smaller than cars and should therefore be easier to park ... most of my friends, who ride bikes, seem to squeeze them into places that you can't fit cars ... or am I missing something? :huh:

Tell, me, if someone, with say muscular dystrophy (who relies upon the width of the parking space), wants to pick up their child and can't park because someone on a motorbike has parked in the one disabled bay, in a car park with several free non-disabled parking bays, would you say that was fair? I certainly wouldn't.

If we are entitled to disabled parking then we should use that entitlement, but not if it causes big problems for other people.

And, lastly, the next time you wish to have a go at me, Jeff, please could you do it in private?

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Motorcycles may be easier to park if you're got full use of both your legs but with my prosthesis (I'm LAK) I cannot easily push my bike around, if it my leg collapses (whic it has done when pushing the bike in the past) then the bike can (and has) collapse(d) on top of me breaking my prosthesis. One of my bikes cost over £30,000 and when I dropped it on the drive last year (because my prosthesis collapsed) it cost over £4000 to fix and couldn't be ridden until those repairs were carried out.

In the past I've parked in a normal car space and returned to find other bikes parked next to mine, unable to move my bike without risking damage to myself, my bike or the bikes parked either side of mine. I was left waiting around for a couple of hours for the other riders to return.

Yes, a blue badge does entitle me to park on double yellow lines but a motorcycle does not have anywhere to leave a badge on display which means I could get a parking ticket, maybe get clamped and possibly have my bike towed away and impounded leaving me stranded with no transport and a large fine.

As a disabled person I have a right to use disabled parking regardless of the transport I'm using. Your point regarding taking the last space (which I didn't by the way) doesn't really make sense, are you saying that it is OK to park my car in the last disabled space, but not my bike? Or are you saying that nobody should ever take the last disabled parking space incase there is someone "more disabled" waiting around the corner who, in your opinion, has a greater need for that space?

I guess your poin of a note might work, if there was somewhere to put said note where it was obvious but not likely to get blown away. And besides there are plenty of people that would just either ignore it or assume it was a joke because we all know that all disabled people are in wheelchairs and wheelchair people can't ride motorbikes.

The incident I was refering to happened in a supermarket car park and my point was that the person who put the sticker on my bike wasn't even disabled but was abusing his wifes badge when she was at home which could actually result in her loosing her entitlement to a badge.

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..... And besides there are plenty of people that would just either ignore it or assume it was a joke because we all know that all disabled people are in wheelchairs and wheelchair people can't ride motorbikes.

:rolleyes: Oh yes, would be funny if it wasn't so true :laugh:

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Motorcycles may be easier to park if you're got full use of both your legs but with my prosthesis (I'm LAK) I cannot easily push my bike around, if it my leg collapses (whic it has done when pushing the bike in the past) then the bike can (and has) collapse(d) on top of me breaking my prosthesis. One of my bikes cost over £30,000 and when I dropped it on the drive last year (because my prosthesis collapsed) it cost over £4000 to fix and couldn't be ridden until those repairs were carried out.

In the past I've parked in a normal car space and returned to find other bikes parked next to mine, unable to move my bike without risking damage to myself, my bike or the bikes parked either side of mine. I was left waiting around for a couple of hours for the other riders to return.

Yes, a blue badge does entitle me to park on double yellow lines but a motorcycle does not have anywhere to leave a badge on display which means I could get a parking ticket, maybe get clamped and possibly have my bike towed away and impounded leaving me stranded with no transport and a large fine.

I guess your poin of a note might work, if there was somewhere to put said note where it was obvious but not likely to get blown away. And besides there are plenty of people that would just either ignore it or assume it was a joke because we all know that all disabled people are in wheelchairs and wheelchair people can't ride motorbikes.

It's not your 'disability' I have issues with, Grum, it's what you're driving - you shouldn't need to take up such a big space. Some people just can't use normal sized bays as they need the extra width that a disabled parking bay offers. But, you could with your bike. :smile: I think what I'm trying to say is that your mode of transport is a lifestyle choice, but some people don't have an option ~ even with adjustments they simply can't use a non-disabled parking bay.

Btw, haven't you looked for blue badge holders for bikes? I did a quick Google and found this one ~ http://www.thedma.org.uk/badge.htm :rolleyes: And, isn't there a way you could get your point across with the local biking community? :unsure:

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Yes, I have seen the blue badge holders, in fact I actually purchased one, not quite like the one pictured which would be possible to fit to a sportsbike such as THIS but one designed for the national association of bikers with disabilities like THIS. Unfortuantely I found that the only place I could secure it to my bike resulted in the holder badly scratching the paintwork. Also they are large and I do not have anywhere on my bike to carry one, unless I were to put it in a back pack which as anyone who knows anything about motorcycling will tell you is a very bad idea because if you are involved in an accident carrying something on your back it increases the chance of spinal ingury when you land on it repeatedly as you roll down the road.

I do not carry anything more than a jumper on my back whilst on my bike.

And as I said before, when I park in a regular space (as I have done many times before) I frequently return to find other bikes parked close to mine. You know how difficult walking is as an amputee. Now imagine how difficult it is to carefully push a top heavy object weighing around 300 kilos in a very confined space knowing that if you do drop it not only will you loose your own transport but you also risk breaking your prosthesis and destroying someone elses bike. Which could potentally cost over £30,000 (based on £20,000 for my C-Leg and £5,000 per bike).

Now imagine doing all of this when you're on your way home from an 18 hour shift at work where you've not had more than a 15 minute break all day and you've been wearing your prosthesis non stop for nearly 20 hours.

You say you've got friends that ride bikes? Next time you see them with their bike, ask if you can have a go pushing it around. Try doing turing it around in a normal parking space where you have to push it backwards and forwards about 8 times. Then try doing it on a slope, or a wet car park, or even in motorcycle boots which have a slight heel that makes your knee unstable because your foot is set-up for the shoes you use most of the day rather than the boots that you only wear to and from work.

You call riding a bike a lifestyle choice. I call it a method of transport that halves my 1 hour journey to work across a busy city centre, reduces my carbon footprint and saves me money on petrol. And more to the point the spaces are provided for people with disabilities, I have a disability so why should I feel guilty about using them when if I don't I may not be able to get home at all.

And as for the local biking comunity, are you suggesting that I post pictures of myself all over the city, at every car park, petrol station and motorcycle dealership in the hope that after a while everyone recognises me. Over 10% of the UK population hold a motorcycle licence and in urban areas this figure is significantly higher as more and more people try to beat congestion, fuel costs and save both money and the environment. Even if I did do this, what about when I'm in a different town?

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I'm with Grum... it's no one else's business what mode of transport anyone uses, he either can use the space or can't, full stop.

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I stand by my statement. We motorcyclists have the same right as everyone else. To say different is a form of discrimination. I encounter the same thing as an able body when I parked in a space and take up the whole space as is my right. Drivers of cars expected you to park on the sidewalk or somewhere else as they figure parking spaces are for cars only. With most motorcyclists it is our preferred mode of transportation. I will always defend motorcyclists if they are in the right.

post-2337-1238671415_thumb.jpg

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Nice Ride.............

Most people who are unfamiliar with motorcycles are unaware of the fact that the weight of the bike alone is something that isn't easy to handle, let alone wearing a prosthetic leg.. doesn't matter if it's an ak or a bk...

We have a handicap license plate that allows us to park in the disabled parking spots on our motorcycle... It is one of only about 10 in our state.. You can just imagine the looks that we got, when we pulled into one,( on Father's Day, no less) at a VERY popular family restaurant to park. There must of been 30 people waiting outside for their reservation, and not one person said a word... On the other hand, when we walked into the local hardware store one day, we heard the store manager loudly ask, "who's red motorcycle is parked in the handicap spot?" I happen to be standing a few feet away from her when she said this and quietly replied, "It's ours Pam, look at the plate on it." At that point, she stated that she didn't even know they gave out plates for the disabled for motorcycles. She had saw the bike, not the plate..

We got ours because of the length of distance that some places require from the parking lot what we are going to be attending..Fairs, concerts, races, etc..even some shopping centers.

Does it really matter who uses the parking spots, if you are disabled?

Does it matter if you are driving a car, or pick-up truck, or a van, if you park in one?

What is the difference........If you are disabled, you have the right to use them, if you meet all qualifications don't you? In our country/state, they don't limit your use by what type of vehicle you use. You don't even have to own the vehicle. If you are disabled, you are allowed a placard and license plate, to use when you ride with someone else. They only time that they want to know what you drive, if is you want a disabled license plate and not a placard to hang from your rear view mirror..the plates are made differently according to size for the mode of transportation.

When it comes down to it..... as far as leg amps go... if it's a bad leg day, its a bad leg day.. doesn't matter what we drive or ride in at that point....walking can be tough.

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Actually, in my area, there are so few disabled bays around, that half time you can't park in them anyway.

Ann

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Grum - perhaps you could make yourself a sign, then? Laminate it, cut a couple of holes and hang it with some string or wire? There are ways and means. Btw if you don't use a blue badge, how do people know you're disabled?

Quite honestly, if you can move such a heavy vehicle, then you must be pretty fit. I see myself as fit, all things considered, but I can't balance on a bicycle, never mind a motorbike, AND I can't lift some objects (e.g. on a good day I can't lift anything much heavier than a bag of flour) because my centre of gravity (which is a lot higher in bilateral amps) and my legs won't allow me ... so I won't be moving anyones' motorbike, thank you very much.

Have you noticed that one or two other people in this thread have said similar things to me (e.g. that we know our own limits - implying that we should use disabled bays when we need to, but could avoid using them if we had good days)? The only difference has been that I have disagreed about motorbikes parking in disabled parking bays, when they could, with a bit of modification, be park in normal sized bays. Also, I'm fairly certain that if anyone on this forum was having a bad day and found that they had to park further away, because someone with a motorbike had parked in the only disabled parking bay, then they were be seriously unimpressed.

I often park in a regular sized bay on my good days as I feel that people with heart or breathing problems, or arthritis, or ME, or neuromuscular disease, or a mum with a teenaged child with severe disabilities ... etc., actually need that bay more than me. Even though I have a significant disability I still see that others have more difficulties than me and I try to think about them too. Personally, I think we should all think like that especially seeing as, in some areas, vacant disabled parking bays are a rarity.

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I'm fairly certain that if anyone on this forum was having a bad day and found that they had to park further away, because someone with a motorbike had parked in the only disabled parking bay, then they were be seriously unimpressed.

You've missed the point.... again... know when to stop :rolleyes:

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It's interesting how, whenever a "disabled parking space" discussion comes up, it stirs so many opinions and emotions. Maybe that's because we all know what it's like to have a "bad day" and find all convenient parking slots filled? I know that I bristle when my leg is throbbing at the end of a long day and I see someone parked in a disabled space illegally.

Before I joined the "disabled community," I probably would have been one of those folks who would have been incredulous at the sight of a motorcycle parked in a disabled slot... especially if I couldn't see a "disabled parking" plate or placard attached to the bike. I simply didn't realize just how many motorcyclists continue to ride following a disabling injury! Now, I think I'd make a point of remembering that a disabled biker also has needs... and an entitlement to parking considerations, the same as I do. (However, I'm afraid that, on a really BAD day, I'd find myself wondering about "how disabled" someone who can push a motorcycle around might be...and then I'd probably kick myself for such thoughts!)

I've seen parking lots where bikers have parked in "regular" spaces, and some of them have had HUGE numbers of cycles crammed into those spaces. I don't know if the riders were there as a group, of if one rider initially claimed the space and the others just took advantage of it. If the latter, I can imagine the complications in getting one bike out of the middle of the "crowd." I would also hope that, were a disabled biker to park in a disabled slot, other able-bodied riders would NOT "join the crowd."

I DO believe that disabled bikers have a responsibility for figuring out a way to display their "disabled status" when parking in a disabled slot, just as I'd expect that of anyone else in any other vehicle. Beyond that, though, I honestly do think that a disabled biker IS disabled and has a right to park in the best location possible for them at the time.

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I'm fairly certain that if anyone on this forum was having a bad day and found that they had to park further away, because someone with a motorbike had parked in the only disabled parking bay, then they were be seriously unimpressed.

You've missed the point.... again... know when to stop :rolleyes:

Where would you like your wooden spoon? :unsure:

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Quite honestly, if you can move such a heavy vehicle, then you must be pretty fit.

That is my point. I can't push the bike around which is why I need to be able to ride in and ride out. If I could do all the things I've already said I can't do then I wouldn't park in a disabled space because I wouldn't be entitled to a blue badge.

I can see that I'm wasting my time here, you don't want to see things form any point of view but your own. So lets just end this discussion here.

Goodbye

P.S.

Thanks to everyone else for your help trying to explain things and thanks also for your support.

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Come on now, everyone...let's remember why we're here and try to get along.

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Come on now, everyone...let's remember why we're here and try to get along.

Who said we aren't getting along? this is what it's all about... if it weren't for topics like this we would be in a very lame place... bring it on...

This thread highlights some really important issues, if you can't have discussion like this here where can you have it?! this is why I'm here after all... as long as people try to understand other people and don't get abusive what's the problem?!

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This post is only for Grum

Grum ~ just remember why this thread became ‘exciting’. It was because you were honest enough to say that you parked your motorbike in a disabled parking bay without a disabled badge. And, because I was honest enough to say that I would have issues with a motorbike using a disabled parking bay.

· I know I’m not the only one who feels like this. I have found it interesting to see that the people who have answered in favour of you have largely been single amps … in fact, I think they’ve all been single amps? The difference between the ability of single amps and double amps is significant. They say that the greater the number of joints (skeleton-wise) you’re missing then the greater your disability. That doesn’t mean to say that you’re not as capable as someone with more joints in the short term, but it does mean that the negative effect on your body is significantly greater in the long term.

· We’ve PM’d each other in the past, and by virtue of what we’ve discussed, you should have seen a glimpse of the real me. And, seen that, although I speak as I find, I am honest, I am concerned about people and that I see the bigger picture. Basically, I’m not getting at you, just the parking of your motorbike in a disabled parking bay without a badge.

· Yes, we have disagreed … life’s like that I’m afraid … you can guarantee that you can never agree with everyone all of the time. However, you can learn from one another.

So, I’d like to suggest three things ~

· That, for now, we agree to differ? :smile:

· That perhaps you could try contacting Remap or one of these charities - http://www.remap.org.uk/remap/links.html - that makes bespoke equipment for people with disabilities? You never know, they may be able to make a blue badge holder to fit on your bike without damaging the paintwork. :rolleyes:

I’m not saying that displaying a blue badge will stop people challenging you (they challenge me fairly often), but it will show that you can park there legitimately ... once they see the blue badge people generally back off.

· And, that you consider meeting up? I'm sure that we could learn quite a bit from each other disability-wise. :smile:

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Just to move over in another direction for a tad................

Hot as hell here today...went to shopping centre and parked in disabled bay next to another disabled car.

When I came out, I was hot and bothered and carrying far too much for my own good. The people next to me in the disabled bay were also packing their stuff in the car to leave.

The "disabled" lady was using a walker and I swear she was 110 years old.....teeny little fragile wisp of a woman.

I looked at her, rolled my eyes and opened my mouth to speak and she said "don't even say it!!" We both had a good laugh. I told her that I want a motorised wheelchair for malls. She told me that she would prefer a golf cart. I said "don't be silly, its too big".

To which she responded...."oh go get a horse!"

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Ok.....just some irrelevant trivia....but wanted to share my smile for the day.

:biggrin:

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Just to move over in another direction for a tad................

Hot as hell here today...went to shopping centre and parked in disabled bay next to another disabled car.

When I came out, I was hot and bothered and carrying far too much for my own good. The people next to me in the disabled bay were also packing their stuff in the car to leave.

The "disabled" lady was using a walker and I swear she was 110 years old.....teeny little fragile wisp of a woman.

I looked at her, rolled my eyes and opened my mouth to speak and she said "don't even say it!!" We both had a good laugh. I told her that I want a motorised wheelchair for malls. She told me that she would prefer a golf cart. I said "don't be silly, its too big".

To which she responded...."oh go get a horse!"

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Ok.....just some irrelevant trivia....but wanted to share my smile for the day.

:biggrin:

That was great Ally! Put a big smile on my mug

Thanks :biggrin:

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Whew- it took me two cups of coffee to get through all the comments in this forum. I am a newbie at all of this, and still in the wheelchair- I hope to be in a prosthetic by this time next month.

I have been trying to get a grasp on this issue and to figure out whats what or whos who out there using the disabled spaces. Most of the time it has not been an issue to find a disabled parking spot, but on one occasion it was. It was in the parking garage for office building where my company is located. All the spaces were taken, and it resulted in having to park in another garage that caused some problems in getting back to my building.

I bring this up, because I have questioned many times to myself that if the person I see using disabled spots is disabled. I think for the most part I have become good at being able to tell if the person has a prosthetic- the even gait, etc., so its those persons who put up the blue badge, and hop out of the car and walk effortlessly that I am having questions about. Maybe at one time they had a back issue and have now recovered- and if so, should they still be entitled the use of handicapped parking? Or- are they using someone elses badge, maybe a spouse or mother. I suspect it is the latter in many cases. My wife could use my badge when spaces are limited, but she doesnt. Its easy to confront someone that parks illegally with no badge, but how are we to "police" those who have the badges.

Some of my eary conclusions, which grant you may change over time, are that we cant police other with badges. We can only hope that people make good concious decisions when they should use it or not. While I want badly to say something to that person that freely walks from the vehicle after hanging the badge, I cannot know that persons situation. It seems like its a systemic problem that needs some kind of rules in place that work to control illegal badge use without being restrictive to those who really need them. g

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