A handicapped Cape Town woman whose son could not find a parking bay to pick her up at a shopping centre because they were all taken by non-handicapped drivers parking illegally got her own revenge – she took out her lipstick and wrote them a message.
“You are not handicapped,” was the message Mandy Martin left written on several windscreens in the Canal Walk parking area.
Wheelchair-bound Martin told a local newspaper that while waiting for her son to fetch her she saw several people arrive, park in the handicapped bays, which are closer to the entrance and wider, and then walk to the centre. None of them were handicapped and none had handicapped stickers.
“They had the audacity to park there without thinking of the consequences,” she was quoted as saying.
Canal Walk illegal parkers get the message:
Martin said she had given up asking parking guards to do anything about it, because they never did anything.
So she decided to do something about it. Handing her lipstick to a friend who was with her, they wrote across the windscreens, “You are not handicapped”.
Illegal use of handicapped parking is common, and there is even a Facebook page “You’re not disabled, so don’t park in a disabled space you lazy BASTARD!” that has over 25,000 followers.
In October, David Reineke of the24hourmarketer.com saw a whole bunch of McDonalds delivery motorbikes parked in several handicapped bays in Gauteng.
“I spoke to a staff member who worked there. I asked why they were parking in The Mcdonalds Disabled parking. The answer I got was because there was no where to park the motorcycles. I told her that that she needed to tell the manager that this was not ‘on’ and that they needed to change the ‘parking policy’ immediately. She just responded like I was the crazy one because there was no allocated parking for their delivery motorcycles.”
Reineke said he went back two weeks later and the delivery bikes were still using the handicapped bays. Eish!
“The next time you selfishly consider parking right in front of the shop in a disabled parking bay – place yourself in the position of the disabled having to struggle to get in and out of their vehicles!” says one South African insurance company.
One handicapped parking zone has a sign that says, “You already have my parking – would you like my disability too?” Another says “Stupidity is not a Disability”.
Illegal use of handicapped parking got some unusual international coverage earlier this year when a group of Brazilians took extreme measures against one transgressor. They stuck his car full of papers, which took him a very long time to remove. A video of the event was seen around the world.