Part of a Whole

My name is Nicolas Steenhout.
I speak, train, and consult about inclusion, accessibility and disability.

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Five, count them, 5 photos of disability parking infractions in 1 hour

Some people will think I’m making too much of a fuss about disability parking spaces being used by people who don’t have a parking permit. There’s already been grumbles on Twitter that I’m like a dog with a bone, I won’t let it go. I admit, it’s a pet peeve of mine. The thing is, it *does* invade my life and impacts on just about everything I do outside the house.

Today, I had to go to the book & stationery shop to pick up a couple items. The store is located on the main street of our CBD, in an admitedly small city. The long sides of the block are about 250m long, and the short sides are about 75m long. In all, around that block, there are 7 parking spaces designed as reserved for people with mobility parking permits. I drove around the block three times before I was able to park. From what I saw, only 2 of the 7 spaces were used by cars displaying parking permits on my first run around the block. Second time around, I didn’t bother looking for permits, I kept driving. Third time around, I found a spot at the end of a row, not a disability space, and I used that.

I did NOT go out of my way to find illegally parked vehicles in disability parking spaces. I just came across several of them in trying to go buy a few pens and a ream of paper. I took photos of the cars, of course, that’s what I do now.

Because people tell me I’m imagining things. "It doesn’t happen all that often", they say. They add: "I shouldn’t get upset, it’s a minor inconvenience". Some are surprised, they say "Surely people aren’t so crass as to park there without permits?". Maybe, just maybe, if I document it, some people will start to realise it is a significant and ongoing problem.

It actually isn’t just a minor inconvenience. It took me twice as long to do my errand this afternoon. It also cost me more in terms of fuel. I’m just lucky it wasn’t raining on top of it.

When are people going to learn?

Today’s "crop"

  • Honda Odissey, plate DYN876 parked without permit in a disability parking space
    Honda Odissey, plate DYN876
  • Nissan Primera, plate WDW34 parked without permit in a disability parking space
    Nissan Primera, plate WDW34
  • Nissan Maxima plate WH6888 parked without permit in a disability parking space
    Nissan Maxima, plate WH6888
  • Holden Vectra, plate CFD555 parked without permit in a disability parking space
    Holden Vectra, plate CFD555
  • Toyota Rav4, plate DNZ489 parked without permit in a disability parking space
    Toyota Rav4, plate DNZ489