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Accessible Parking That's Not So Accessible

Updated: Feb 20, 2020

We have a rear entry wheelchair accessible van, and on occasion when my wife and I go somewhere, I will stay in the van while she runs into the store. Just about every time this happens, I see a vehicle pull into a handicapped parking spot, then watch as the occupant hops out and walks nonchalantly into the store – with no sign of any kind of disability. According to a recent survey of data collected by a city owned parking company, over 20% of the parking spaces in downtown Budapest were occupied by vehicles displaying a disabled pass. A blogger from South Africa asked on a disability website, "A while ago, I came across an example of a sticker one can put on the windscreen of a car that is illegally parked in a handicapped zone. I cannot now find the example but, whoever has one, can you kindly re-post?" Replies to that blog request came back from Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, England and elsewhere. Apparently, the problem throughout the United Kingdom is particularly bad.

These bloggers went on to discuss the most outrageous excuses for violations that they've heard, and what they would like to tell parking violators caught in the act. They also debated a variety of punishments for such violators and had a number of suggestions for alternative signs which might do a better job of preventing the violation in the first place. Finally, instead of leaving the usual parking ticket on the driver’s windshield, they had some ideas for an alternatively worded parking ticket. As not all disabilities are visible, a number of these tickets (which use rude and offensive language in order to point out that the violators are being rude) are unnecessary and not cool. The problem is so widespread however, that collectively, we could have an impact by letting violators know that their actions are not only inconsiderate but also illegal. I have listed below the top excuse, top comment, the top punishment, and the top parking app to report violators as suggested by the bloggers referenced above. The Christopher Reeve Foundation estimates there are 5.4 million people living with paralysis in the United States. Imagine the impact we might have if each of these people put just one card or reported just one violator through an app? We might actually be able to find a parking spot!

Top Excuse

I want to be disabled, and I am just practicing.

Top Comment for Violators Caught in the Act

If you intend to park in this space illegally because you will "only be there for 1 minute," that's okay. It will only take me 30 seconds to slash your tires.

Top Punishment

Publicly slapping a violators mother for having bred such an inconsiderate and ill behaved child

Top Parking App

Slice of Life series articles are those that share the special experiences of those living in a wheelchair in a way that is witty, informational, poignant and even inspirational. Do you have a story? Share it with us at

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