A New Way To Report People Who Abuse Handicapped Parking Spots

Ever wished you could report someone who parks in a spot for the handicapped but doesn’t have the appropriate decal or license plate? There’s an app for that: It’s called Parking Mobility, and it enables people to snap a photo of a vehicle parked in a spot without a handicapped plate or placard and zap it to city officials, who issue a ticket. Twenty percent of the fine goes to the charity of choice of the person who reported the offense.

The Austin City Council recently granted preliminary approval for locals to use the app. Similar measures for nabbing motorists illegally parked in disabled spots are happening in other cities; this summer, Tulsa, Oklahoma organized a squad of volunteers to track down vehicles parked in handicap spaces without proper permits. Fort Worth, Denver, and Wichita have programs like that, too.

I’ve had knee-jerk reactions over the years to seeing people seemingly illegally parked in spots for the handicapped. Once, at a local mall, I walked by a handicapped spot where a young mother and her friend had just parked. There was no handicap decal visible. I watched the moms take their babies out of the car, and literally stood there and glared at them. “Do you have a problem?” one of them asked. Yeah, I had a problem, as a mom of a kid with disabilities—and as a human being in general. “I’m not sure why you parked there,” I said. “It’s none of your business!” she replied in a hostile tone of voice. At which point, I gave her a pointed look and left. If there were a policeman nearby, I would have said something. What I could have done, I later learned, was noted down the license plate and reported it to a local police precinct.

True, it’s easy to make wrong assumptions as there are people with “invisible” disabilities who may at times neglect to hang up their identifying tags. I’d honestly never considered this until I wrote something about special needs things that make you go “ARRRGH!”; several readers spoke up about those who are unfairly accused of taking an accessible spot because they don’t look disabled. One woman with rheumatoid arthritis described herself as “being a healthy-looking 28-year-old.” Some days, she noted, she couldn’t make it from a far parking spot into the grocery store because it was too painful—why she needed a handicapped spot.

Still: If you were rightfully registered for a disabled person parking placard and got a ticket for not having it, you could produce it and get the ticket waived. That seems like a small price to pay for nabbing unethical people who grab a spot for convenience. Studies supposedly show that more than one in four vehicles in disabled parking are there so illegally; last year, Austin alone issued 1200 tickets to people illegally parked in spots reserved for those with disabilities. In July, there was an uproar when a parking official caught the Los Angeles Lakers’ Andrew Bynum allegedly parking his BMW in spots at a food market reserved for the handicapped, earning him the nickname “Los Angeles Faker.”

Of course, no matter what sort of measures there are to catch people in the act, three’s also the issue of people illegally getting those parking decals in the first place. It seems like there also needs to be crackdowns on doctors and other experts who enable people to get plates and placards for disabilities that they don’t actually have.

Some are disturbed by the Parking Mobility app; one newspaper columnist described it as a “serious infringement of civil liberties” and said it could promote vigilantism. To me, though, this seems like one concrete way to curb the problem.

What do you think about an app that enables people to report those who unrightfully park in parking spots for the handicapped?



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  1. by MarfMom

    On October 26, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    how does this inspire vigilantism? like you said, you could document it pen and paper and report it, so this doesn’t change any reporting law. it just makes it easier to report a crime.

    and i think if you (in a broad sense, not just you specifically) see someone park in a handicap space without a placard and have the opportunity to speak with them, it might be best to just point out they don’t have their placard hanging. they may realize they forgot it, and won’t be immediately put on the defensive if they do have an invisible disability.

    also, the blue placard isn’t the only way to show you have a permit. i didn’t realize this, but you can also get it put on your license plate, and my neighbor has a red tag they have taped to their front window. so, before you report be sure to check those places too.

  2. by laura

    On October 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    sounds like a great app! but what’s the point in stopping and arguing with someone? because arguing will not get you anywhere!

  3. by Jana

    On October 26, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I love the idea of the app!! Of course, I forget half the time to put our hanging thing out, but I’m sure if I got a ticket that I had to dispute I wouldn’t forget again!! And to be honest, I always check the cars that are parked in handicapped spots, and rarely see ones that look like they are parked illegally.

  4. by Amy

    On October 26, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    It sounds like a good idea, and it gives proof that the car actually *was* parked. Just calling and reporting the plate – how can the officers prove that perhaps the reporter was mistaken, and the person wasn’t even in a handicapped spot? I don’t think it would lead to vigilantism – most people don’t care, because most have done it at one time or another themselves, I’m sure. The biggest reporters would likely be those who use the spots themselves, or have friends or family members who do.

  5. by Rob R-H

    On October 26, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    I understand the civil liberties arguments against this, but I disagree with them. We have programs like Crime Stoppers in place already that use community input to fight crime. This is just another form of citizen engagement.

  6. by TammieMP

    On October 26, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Where can I sign up for th App? I think it would be awesome to do this. Take it a step further and report the people that park in the unloading areas for the wheelchairs/van accesible spots too. I can honestly say if my son is not with me or isn’t going into the store with me (he’s staying in the car with someone) I don’t use the accessible spots as I know how frustrating it is when you need one & you can’t find one. Will have to check and see if local authorities are using it in our area.

  7. by linjaynes

    On October 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Dont we have enough Big Brothers?

  8. by Cry, Beloved Country

    On October 27, 2011 at 12:55 am

    I’m not seeing the civil liberties and vigilante concerns. Citizens have *always* reported alleged lawbreaking to the police. And for quite some time now, they’ve been using technology to do it: using the *phone* to call 9-1-1, anyone? If we’re concerned about civil liberties violations associated with the use of technology, we’ll need to start requiring people to *walk* to the nearest precinct with their complaint. If we’re concerned about encouraging vigilantism, we’ll need to prohibit them from doing *that* as well.

    I’ve never been even remotely tempted to get a smart phone. But now? I just might!

  9. by Jeri

    On October 27, 2011 at 7:45 am

    I have called the police before, to report a vehicle illegally parked in a handicapped spot. They told me that in order to write a ticket the vehicle would still have to be parked there when they arrived and that “wasn’t a priority call” for them to get to. I will try the app and see if that works.

  10. by Ellen Seidman

    On October 27, 2011 at 7:53 am

    The local police authorities need to be onboard with the program before the app can be used; the Parking Mobility website has info on how to make that happen.

  11. by Margroks

    On October 27, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    I don’t need an “app” for this. I’ve always called in when I see someone illegally parked in a handicapped spot. Heck, I call when I see a dog locked in a hot car! It isn’t any violation of civil liberties-that’s nonsense. However, locally, I’ve heard police won’t take a picture as proof supposedly because a picture can be altered. Personally, I think police need to start accepting unconfirmed complaints at least to the extent that they will have a talk with the person involved because otherwise too many people will get by with doing illegal things.

  12. by InvaderZim

    On October 27, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    This is great — I live in Austin, my son is disabled and has a placard and it’s annoying when all the spots are taken by the lazy.

    A while ago, I was at McDonalds, which has two handicapped spots. There was a large pickup truck parked in one of the spots without plates or a placard and a motorcycle officer had just pulled someone over for speeding and was finishing up. I pointed out the truck and the officer walked over, put his boot on the rear bumper and wrote a ticket. As he was finishing, a car pulled into the second handicapped spot right next to the officer and a young guy got out and dashed inside. The officer went over, put his boot on that rear bumper and wrote another ticket.

    He could probably have stayed there all day; he made the city $400 for a few minutes work. I don’t understand why it’s not a priority, both because it inconveniences the disabled, and makes the city some easy money at the expense of the stupid and lazy. That’s a win-win situation and I’ll definitely be using the app.

  13. by alexa

    On October 27, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    tattletales!!!! wow! they are doing, in time they will get caught. why get involved?!?!?!

  14. by cpleg

    On October 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I do not think this is a good idea and it probably will not pass due to the fact that a photo is just that….with today’s technology you could fake a pic of someone’s car the spot just about a quick as you can snap the actual photo….there is too much of a chance of abuse and harrassment so I don’t think this will pass

  15. by SA

    On October 28, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    I think it’s a good idea. I usually just take a pic on my phone, walk into the store and share with the management. They usually announce on the PA system about the owner of a car with X description please come to a register or whatever. I understand that people may not want to display their placard or just forgot to put it up.

    If it’s a baby or small child left in a car, I do the same thing. There is no valid excuse to leave a kid in a car alone, and that deserves public embarrassment and/or a call to the police.

  16. by Jes

    On October 28, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Wish they would have an app for people that park in family/pregnant women parking!!!! See too many ppl taking advantage of them!!

  17. by Gloria

    On October 29, 2011 at 1:51 am

    A couple of weeks ago I was walking past a car parked in a handicapped spot who had no handicapped license plate or placard displayed and I VERY NICELY said to the lady getting her kid out of the car, “excuse me but you forgot to put your placard up” and she proceeded to yell at me – “I don’t need no effing card!” I said, “I’m sorry I was just trying to help” and walked away thinking I hope you get a $250 ticket, B***H. But now after reading this I know what I should have done was write down her plate number and send it to the local police, which I will do from now on… or maybe, better yet, I will snap a picture with my cell phone and send it to the police, after all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

  18. by Kate J

    On October 29, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    While I think we have more than enough monitoring of our everyday life these days, and generally don’t like the climate of vigilantism, the “1 in 4 parked illegally” is a reason to crack down.

    I like Gloria’s approach of nicely mentioning to someone that they forgot their placard – I know I have done that. But the response she got showed that this particular person was probably not amongst the innocent.

  19. by Molly

    On October 30, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I think it’s a great idea. Imagine being the mom of a child who has a placard. Imagine trying to get your child’s wheelchair out, and get your child situated, trying to do all of this far away from the store. When I take the little guy I work with out to dinner, it’s very stressful. If he had a placard it would be safer and less anxiety provoking.

  20. by TP

    On November 1, 2011 at 12:19 am

    GREAT IDEA! I have RA. I don’t drive on the days I can’t walk & can’t get out of bed. I have a handicap symbol on my license plate. I have gotten dirty looks everywhere I go. A man was even writing my license# down once & yelled at me. I was 27 when I was diagnosed & now 40. When I do go out, I am limping & try to have someone w/me. I try not to show my pain because I don’t want to draw attention. I don’t ride the carts because they are confusing to me. I only go to stores on my better days because 1 minute I will be walking okay & the next minute, I’ll start limping or walk like I am 100, can barely lift my feet & hunched over. Half the time, I don’t park in the HC Zone because I feel like there may be an elderly person that needs it more than I do. *My main issue is that I have lived in my apartment for 15 years & it took me 10 years & many, many managers to finally put up a handicap sign. Someone pulled it out the brick building. FINALLY, after pleading for another sign, 3 years later they put a poll in the ground with a sign. Someone pulled it out the ground. It is obvious to me who did it. My neighbor is the ONLY ONE that parks there illegally. This is very frustrating to me. I truly need that closer spot. I even moved to a downstairs/corner apt because I couldn’t climb the stairs & for health reasons. There is still half a handicap symbol on the pavement but I don’t know if the police will do anything about him parking there. The apartment manager won’t do anything. She will not put up another sign either. I don’t want to cause a problem & I am scared of my neighbor because he drinks alot & is always in a bad mood. Is that app available in Houston, Texas? If so, this may be my answer. Can I do it annonomously? Any advice would be sincerely grateful.

  21. by Beth Duffy

    On November 1, 2011 at 9:55 am

    You stated in your column that people who have these tags and forgot to put them up could just show them later and the ticket would be reversed. That’s far from the truth. I once got a ticket for parking in a handicapped spot and when I went to put up my tag, the hook ripped off and I couldn’t hand it from my rearview mirror. I then placed it on my dashboard. When I went to court to “fight” the ticket, I was found guilty because the cop said he didn’t see it anywhere on my car…..I was basically told I was lying. I even brought the old tag that was ripped with my new one to show the judge. It didn’t matter….the sworn statement of the policeofficer was more valid than my sworn statement. So….when you say, “Still: If you were rightfully registered for a disabled person parking placard and got a ticket for not having it, you could produce it and get the ticket waived. That seems like a small price to pay for nabbing unethical people who grab a spot for convenience.” I say that is not true. Thanks for bringing this issue to light but not everything you stated was true….

  22. by Keith remington

    On November 1, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Great idea. However, we should simply change the sign color to red for wheelchair users only. This way the people with minor disabilities can have the original spots and the people who really use wheelchairs have a spot. Easy to monitor for law enforcement. Nothing worse when I need a van spot to unload a wheelchair and a small car is parked there.

  23. by dolores

    On November 2, 2011 at 4:40 am

    As a person with a handicapped placard, I know there are people who look at me as I emerge from my car with seemingly no visible handicap. Many handicapped people have limited capacity for walking and a close parking spot helps tremendously. Those of us recovering from hip surgery or have stenosis of the spine, things that are not visible like a wheelchair or canes are hard for abled people to understand. So if you see what looks like a ‘healthy’ person emerge from a handicapped parking area, don’t jump to conclusions that they aren’t handicapped. We are – you just don’t see it.

  24. by Tanya

    On November 2, 2011 at 10:58 am

    My sister is 25 years old and she has RA which, on some days, can severely limit her mobility. She is still coming to terms with her illness and she is not ready to put up a handicapped sign in her car, advertising that she has an illness. She could benefit from using the spots but she wouldn’t likely put up a handicapped sign to park at the mall when joining her friends.

    On another note, my step dad had a very bad heart condition, and it took us forever to convince him to put up the sign. He appeared healthy but could not walk for a long period of time without being winded. Anytime he parked in a spot (with the card in full view), he got dirty looks and nasty comments from passing customers. He took the sign down and refused to use the parking spots afterwards.

    You do not know what kind of condition a person may have. Things are not always apparent in terms of their handicap/illness or what they are going through emotionally in dealing with it. Most of the time, its best to withhold your comments because you likely do not understand the whole story. And passing comments or dirty looks can have a detrimental impact on someone who has to deal with an illness.

  25. by Mathilda Jane

    On November 3, 2011 at 8:40 am

    If only people felt as passionate about solving REAL crimes.

    How about fostering an abused child or helping out at your local women’s shelter with the time you spend tinkering with your app?

  26. by April

    On November 4, 2011 at 6:23 am

    Keep in mind though that some people have handicapped tags instead of placards. My mom and stepdad have both. On two cars they have the tag and won’t hang the placard. They also have two placards for when they are using a car without the handicapped tags on them.

    I worry about this policy wrongfully giving people like them a ticket because a lot of people never check the tags and just assume you would have a placard and nothing else. We have had parking attendants tell us we can’t park in handicapped because of no placard and we have to tell them to check the tag.

    So you can have either a tag or a placard and you don’t have to have both up at the same time. Also a lot of people have inviside disabilities which was discussed on this board before. I have arthritis and back problems and scoliosis on top of having to deal with twins. I don’t have a handicapped tag but when I am with my mom since they do have one we park in them and it helps. I would hate for someone to just assume we are lazy when that is not the case. She has arthritis and scoliosis as well as is a two time cancer survivor. My stepfather is the only one who has obvious disabilities.

  27. by TErry

    On November 5, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    So someone gets drunk, crashes into a tree, becomes disabled. Why should I care if he/she has to walk a ways? Someone else gets old, like I will eventually, why should I care if they have to walk a ways. Life isn’t fair, and I see plenty of handicapped people parking away from the markers just to get some much needed exercise.

  28. by tommy

    On November 6, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    They should do away with handicapped parking spot laws and make it voluntary. I am opposed to the ADA and the costs that it brings to businesses also. I’m tired of paying for other people’s problems.

  29. by Scott

    On November 6, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I once was slightly reprimanded because I parked in a “regular” parking place even though I had a handicapped placard hanging from my mirror. My back wasn’t hurting too badly that day…

  30. by Kathryn

    On November 7, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I think this is a great idea. I don’t have any handicapped people living in my complex (not that they good, all stairs no elevators) but people park in the handicapped zone all the time and it annoys me so much! As the older sibling of someone who was born disabled, I understand the need for a handicapped spot, because other spots are small and I sometimes have to park about five minutes away just so I can find a space to fit his wheelchair in between the cars. These people who abuse the spots that people actually need really should be stopped. It’s not about tinkering with apps while “real crime” is happening, it’s about doing what’s right.

    I think they should also take into account tags, plates, and plaques. My brother has a plaque that he carries around for whoever is giving him a ride but my mom has always had the plate and we’ve gotten yelled at by people at Costco for parking in a handicap spot with no visible plaque. A woman was even shaking it at us yelling at us from her car when we have a clearly labeled plate.

    But yeah, I think this is a great idea. Show people they can’t abuse these spots.

  31. by Guy

    On November 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I’m looking forward to reporting violators. My mother was paralyzed below the chest from a spine tumor when she was 47 years old. She drove a car with hand controls and a wheelchair carrier, and drove herself to work everyday. THAT is what a handicap parking space is for.
    It really irks me to see a 20- or 30- something climb out of their lifted off-road truck or SUV in a handicap parking space and walk into a store (clearly there is little wrong with them when they can scale a lifted truck, as well as walk unassisted).
    Myself, I was just sick for three months while the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with me. I had fatigue and muscle weakness and could barely get out of bed everyday. But I did it and I did NOT take the lazy way out and park in handicap spaces (my problem has been identified and resolved and I’m looking forward to getting back to my daily walks).
    People who abuse handicap spaces are just arrogant lazy people who don’t think the rules apply to them. I hope some day when they have mobility issues they have trouble getting any sympathy in parking spaces. It’s called Karma.

  32. by WOW!

    On November 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    I’m now dumber for having read this. Stop worring about what others are doing, let the current rules/law work, and worry about your selves for a change.

  33. by karen

    On November 11, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    It depends on where you live if you have placard, tags or both.In Nevada we have one or the other. The local DMV can tell you. If you told me I forgot to put up the placard I would be grateful. MS brings brain fog.Don’t say a word to violators, they know what they are. You will never get a nice response. Just write down their plate # and call it in. The app sounds like a great idea.

  34. by Luke

    On November 13, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    I’m against there being reserved handicapped parking spaces in the first place. If someone wants an especially desirable parking spot, for whatever personal reason, let them show up early or wait their turn, just as anyone else would. A person with some kind of physical problem will certainly be motivated to take extra measures to get a good parking spot, as many people do when they have something heavy to carry, or the weather is bad. Not having reserved spots for the favored few would be fairest; it’s like a racial prejudice (akin to affirmative action or the old “Jim Crow” laws) to have special parking for those who have done nothing positive to earn them, and certainly have paid other innocent people kicked to the back of the line nothing.

    I would allow special spots for military veterans wounded in combat, but that’s about it.

    I don’t believe in special parking for doctors at hospitals or faculty at high schools and colleges, either. Employees should park in the back of the lot, if anything, leaving the better parking for customers.

  35. by AprilC

    On November 15, 2011 at 9:35 am

    If the person just forgot to show hang their placard and they get cited; even though they show in court they did have the placard they will loose time at work and have to pay the court fee.

  36. by kayinde

    On November 16, 2011 at 9:47 am

    I’d like to use this to report the police officers in Newark, DE who routinely use handicapped spots to park while they pick up their lunch in Brookside Plaza at a popular deli and run other personal errands on the job.

  37. by kayinde

    On November 16, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Alexa and Luke you both need to get some manners and compassion. Being handicapped is not being favored in any way as we face discrimination daily from young punks like you. Having reserved parking spots makes it possible for people like me to continue working and be independent. And yes I am a tattle tale. Last week I had a doctor appt at Harmony plaza in Newark Delaware and two employees of the laser eye center which is right next door were running late for work and took the last handicapped spot although after inquiring I found out they have no right to park there. I had to walk 11 rows to and from the doctor – and when I got home was in so much pain I had to crawl into my house from the car and up the stairs. Yesterday at the Vital records in Philadelphia, there were 5 people in walkers or canes waiting to pick up birth certificates. Several able bodied young people pushed in front of them in line with no regards to the physical pain they were causing. After my ordeal there yesterday I am now bedridden probably for 2 more days due to pain and muscle spasms. So if this is being whiny or “favored” in some way, walk in my shoes for 1 day. Oh I forget, I can’t walk due to idiots like you showing a lack of human decency yet again

  38. by kayinde

    On November 16, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Terry you say you see many handicapped people park away to get much needed exercise. In fact what they are probably doing is having a single good day in a chronic illness with occasional remissions. Because they know what it is like to truly need the spot on a bad day they are being courteous and giving it to someone who at least for today is in worse shape.

  39. by Faker

    On December 7, 2011 at 11:53 am

    What about all the fake handicap passes that people use?
    I see so many people with a blue hang tag, but they walk and run around just fine..

    seems to me, it gives people like that a way to get fake passes. who can defend against that , I could say I have any number of things wrong with me.

  40. by Todd

    On December 8, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    How about ticket the people who get the placards for just being fat and lazy? I was in a wheelchair for 6 months and could never get a handicap spot. Every single spot was taken up by people that were morbidly obese. They could walk fine and had no disability other than they were fat and lazy. Could never get a parking spot and the scooters in the stores were always taken up by the fat asses.

  41. by Selmers

    On December 24, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    I am sick of nosy, self-riteous a-holes like all of you! I have a piece of shrapnel in my L4-L5 that can not be removed because it is impinging my spinal cord, which I got serving in Iraq in 2008. I am 38 now and look physically like Im in great shape. I deal with severe pain well, but I am severely restricted in my mobility. However, even though I have my placard, I am constantly yelled at by you pathetic pieces of crap who need to mind your own business! So, next time you feel like snapping a picture or getting your nose in someone else’s business, remember, I am snapping your picture, getting your information, and reporting YOU for HARASSMENT!

  42. by laura

    On January 4, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    while i think it is great hoenstly i do have a problem with where some stores put their disabled parking. our local grocery outlet has disabled parking right infront of the water machine (you know the kind where you can bring your five gallon jugs to get them filled) and i know personally i have stopped in a disabled spot because being a smaller female i cannot carry that large bottle as far to the car once full now we are not actually parked i am standing 2 feet from the car the whole time which is a whole 3 min while we are getting water. what i cannot understand is why do they need to make that one spot disabled!? wouldn’t it be better served as a loading zone spot? that way people getting water could get their water and leave or someone driving a disabled person in a rear loading van that would be easier to unload the person closer to the covered area be better?

  43. by Jahk

    On January 21, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Now to get a smart phone and download the app! ;-{)}

  44. by PJ

    On January 24, 2012 at 9:28 am

    What gets me is when I see people obviously using the Grandma’s placard. I saw a girl jump out of a convertible and sprint into a store. Now If I could do that I wouldn’t need the dang placard! The other thing that gets me is these big SUVs and trucks that park in the compact spaces. Don’t you kn ow your giant canyonero sticks out too far and makes it hard for the rest of us? Or are you so narcissistic that the thought of someone else can’t possible occur to you? There should be an app for that.

  45. by Mary

    On January 30, 2012 at 1:58 am

    What a dumb comment:

    Still: If you were rightfully registered for a disabled person parking placard and got a ticket for not having it, you could produce it and get the ticket waived. That seems like a small price to pay for nabbing unethical people who grab a spot for convenience.

    How is that a small price to pay? Forcing the handicapped, and disabled in to the inconvenience of having to appear in court to have a ticked waived???!!!!

    Great idea ya brain doner!

  46. by Caiha

    On February 11, 2012 at 4:13 am

    Just make sure to “use your words” first. Too all appearances I’m young, fit and healthy, but my kidneys are slag. I lose a lot of blood through the urine. I’m on dialysis 4 hours every other night, it keeps me alive but makes my whole body ache all over. I work hard to maintain my appearance, but my low red blood cell count means I can literally run out of steam just crossing the street. Still, I’ve often had people come up and berate me for not deserving to have a handicapped parking placard (and that’s not counting the even more frequent dirty looks). All I ask is you talk to people before making accusations and/or reporting them.

  47. by Red Crayon

    On February 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    This is my favorite recourse, and yes…I do use it:

  48. by Red Crayon

    On February 14, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I should add that I have a non-visible disability (a thousand of them, if we’re going to be fair) and I get filthy looks all the time for parking in Accessible (not “handicapped”) spots. I don’t care. Glare away. I hang my placard and I move on with my life. I have forgotten…twice…and I felt bad, because I do run around the world issuing those “citations”, but then I think, “No…if I received one of those, I’d laugh, crumple it up and think…’Well done, you, person who put this on my windshield! Next time, I won’t forget.’” And then I’d think, “And thank you for not keying my car or screeching at me.”

  49. by Red Crayon

    On February 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    And I agree with Selmers and disagree with PJ. PJ, you have no idea who “deserves” a placard and who does not. I guarantee you that, on most days, I can probably outrun you and maybe out-wrestle you. But I have something you’ve never even heard of before (I know, because I have to explain it to most doctors who aren’t genetic specialists) and is lethal, painful, and could result in an emergency at any moment. Yet, if you saw me park in an Accessible space, you’d no doubt think I had “Grandma’s placard”. In fact, that might have been me…and I hope it was…because if I was feeling good enough to sprint that day, it must have been a FINE day. My brother (same condition) uses a cane many days at his house, but he’s too proud to use it in public. He’s 4 years younger than I am and if you saw him in public, he looks even healthier than I do. In fact, he’s quite the stud, but I keep begging him to get the placard, because I see “the real him” and he needs it. Who knows…maybe he doesn’t get it because of d-bags like you in the world.

  50. by Chris T.

    On February 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    It will be fun to photoshop license plates of people I hate onto pictures taken in disabled parking spots so they get tickets!

  51. by holly

    On February 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    What is everyone getting sooo defensive about? These places were created for a reason! If you do not have the handicapped designation noted on your license and/or registration JUST DON”T PARK THERE! geez! Has everyone lost their mind?!

  52. by Linda

    On February 28, 2012 at 9:29 am

    i remember in the 90s a man blocked my car and called the police because he thought i was not handicapped enough to deserve a placard, but then the cops arrived he learned a valuable lesson not to judge a book by its cover,since then I have never had anyone treat me like that again. I agree some people like myself have problems that are not seen but effects them still the same,my disability is like the young woman in the story she has RA

  53. by Rodney

    On February 29, 2012 at 10:16 am

    To the ones who say they can get out of their car and run “when they have a good day”, I say leave the handicapped space for someone who is not having a good day. I also have a placard/tag and do not look like I am that handicapped, except when I walk to or from the car when it is raining. If there is a near by parking space, I will also leave the handicapped space for another deserving person. When I confront the undeserving, I close with wishing that they become the next person that needs to have a placard, since they enjoy parking in their spaces.

  54. by Bob Long

    On February 29, 2012 at 10:36 am

    The most commonly abuse of this and the “ignoring” by the Police occurs daily at The VA Hospital in Houston, Tx (Michael De Bakey).

    The handicapp spaces lie withing 150 ft. of the picture window of the VA Police station fronting on the lobby of the hospital itself.

    Upon my weekly visit to the Cancer center at this hospital, in 15 months I have never been abale to park in a designated spot due to abuse by vehicles with NO H> plackard nor H. License plate.

    Due to such and to prevent being late for my Doctor appointments, I am forced to arrive an hour early every week to find an alternative space and walk(sometimes over a half a mile.

    Upon arrival,I cruise the designated spaces and count the abusers, averaginbg 55% of the paked vehicles.

    Every week I stop at the police staion window in the hospital lobby and report the # and plead with them to look out their window if they are too lazy to go outside and randomly check the reoccuring abuse.

    Inspite of my efforts, the situation never has improved and yet I still have never seen a parking ticket on the windshield of the abusers.


  55. by William Andrews

    On March 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Bob, paid civil service personnel, or police, but there are certainly not SERVANTS. If you can’t comprehend the difference, retake 6th grade social studies and learn about public service and people who serve to protect. As a retired disabled veteran with 33 years of SERVICE I believe I speak with some authority here. Congrats on your problem-solving skills and adapting and overcoming the issue by showing up early. Your outrage is at people who fail to do your bidding is just plain funny. Maybe they have something better to do than do what YOU think they should do. I was sworn to protect the constitution of the US against all enemies, foreign and domestic and obey the orders of the POTUS and officers appointed over me, don’t believe there was an “… and Bob clause.”

  56. by Raven

    On March 5, 2012 at 11:10 am

    The Redboxes are notorious spots for offenders like this. My local McDonalds has a Redbox right by the front door and 2 handicapped spots – people pull in ALL the time and peruse the movies. I always give them and the BMW/Mercedes or whatever snooty car they are driving that they think gives them the right to park there, a nice long glare! The height of laziness and rudeness!

  57. by Mark

    On March 6, 2012 at 10:53 am

    I can agree withmost of the comments here. Like several of the posters here I am a vet with enough metal in my body to set off detectors! Not too long ago I pulled into one of 2 handicapped spots in fronot of a local Staples store. I was nearly hit by 3 teenage girls who came flying into the next spot in Granny’s car! They misjudged their speed and wound up going up and over the curb. They backed out, cursed at me for staring at them, and went into the store. I called the local police, watched happily as they wrote the ticket, and then pointed them out to the officer when they came out of the store. They had a torn-off windskirt, a good chewing out from a cop, and a fat ticket. I win!

  58. by Christina

    On March 21, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    @ Terry, Tommy, and Luke. If you think doing away with the handicapped spots is any kind of answer at all, you need to drive my son around for a day…in his wheelchair…in my SIDE-LOADING van. without the extra marked off space next to a handicapped spot, there’s no guarantee that I can get him back into the vehicle when we return to it. Even with it, I often have to report people in small cars and motorcycles for parking in that space, or even worse, people who have the placard or plate and, knowing why we may need that space, park in it to have adquate space on the passenger side of their vehicle, rather than backing in so we can both use the extra loading space as intended.

  59. by Lori

    On May 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I am a disabled 53 year old woman living in Houston and I would LOVE to see my city adopt such a law. I am always finding violations of the handicap parking laws and if the driver is still in the car, I approach him/her about their illegal parking and deprivation of the spot intended for those with disabilities. Before I complain, I do check rearview mirror, dashboard, and plates for a handicap “license.” The excuses I get are ridiculous and vary from the “I am only going to be here for a minute (by which time, of course, the disabled drives by looking for another space) to “who are you? by what right do you have to complain?”. I explain that both I and my son are physically disabled and mobility impaired and struggle to find the very few handicapped spots out there. If no one is there, I leave a polite but curt note on the dashboard about parking selfishly and illegally. If there is security in the area or business to which I came, I report it to them. If there is no security or police available, I tell the manager of the business I was frequenting that I am (truthfully) a frequent shopper and that there is an illegally parked car in their parking lot and that a call to the police is necessary. I am not loathe to be proactive when it comes to “policing” these parking spots. Believe me, I’d rather be perfectly healthy and not need the space.

  60. by Kay

    On July 3, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Don’t you people have better things to do? Seriously. I never park in the handicapped spots. It’s rare that I see someone without the “proper tags” doing so either, and in the few situations that I do see it, it’s at the packed convenience store by my house where customers are in and out in less than five minutes.

    Get a grip people. Quit being mad at others because you or someone in your family is disabled. Who in the world would even think about wasting their time installing this app on their phone and actually using it?

  61. by Kay

    On July 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    If you’re disabled, it’s YOUR problem, right? Nobody cares about my problems, so why should they care about yours? If you’re that bad off, move to a nursing home or stay home. You’re probably the same one that holds up progress in the aisles at the store and everything else, and everyone is supposed to feel sorry for you because you are disabled. You’re mad because someone’s car is in your way? I get mad when you’re in my way, but I can’t get the cops to do anything about that, can I?

  62. by Kim

    On August 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I actually had a cop ask me about my placard once. It was for my brother, I had one because I could take him out to do his errands. The cop asked why I parked at the back of the lot with the placard in my window. When I explained the disabled person wasn`t with me he politely informed its illegal to leave it in the window all the time. Whoops. I went back and took it out, and he thanked me before going about his business.

  63. by Sarah

    On October 2, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    I parked in a handicap-reseved spot at my son’s school and bounded out of my car as I was running a few minutes late, and he is anxious beyond belief. I was wearing typical “running around” clothes- sneakers and yoga pants, and a woman in the parking lot shouted at me “You know, people need those spots. Someone who is RUNNING clearly shouldn’t park there.” I didn’t say anything to her, I was much more concerned about getting to my son, but I entered the school hysterically crying. This was three years ago and it still upsets me. Although I do wish I would have had the composure (or time) to speak to that woman, I don’t recommend saying anything to anyone- because it’s not any of your business, and often it’s the child inside who needs the tag.

  64. by Sarah

    On October 2, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    (and the tag on my car was CLEARLY displayed)

  65. by Disabled toilets - Page 4

    On October 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    [...] parked in a pair of handicap spaces. (I was looking for the police article and found this instead) A New Way To Report People Who Abuse Handicapped Parking Spots | To The Max I can't find the article in question but, I remember it happening in Ohio. I'm Noyb Silent and I [...]

  66. by Del

    On December 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    First of all, it’s worth updating this entry to note that as of now, I believe this app only works in one city in Texas, which is not mentioned anywhere on the app’s site or in the description in the Google Play app store. The creator’s idea is that if they get a surge of reports from an area, the creators can then go to that city and “prove” there is a desire for it, and hope that it will be adopted.

    But meantime, your “reports” go nowhere.

    I want to say, I have a serious skeltomuscular disease and nerve damage; sometimes I use a wheelchair, and on rare occasions I can make due with a cane. However, I can tell stories that would make your hair stand on end about how many times I have been verbally, and even physically, assaulted or harrassed for (legally) parking in handicap parking places. Even when I’m in my wheelchair. You know why?

    I’m fat.

    Now, none of these people know, or have the right to know, that my weight has nothing to do with my disease(s), and in fact some of the nerve dysfunction I have is due to a doctor forcing me onto an unhealthy diet for eight months, and it caused permanent nerve damage that causes me to tic and tremor in my hands and feet; this means that when I’m walking around, my foot can decide to turn itself in a funny way and cause me to sprain or break my ankle, which I’ve done several times. This is part of the reason I have the chair.

    But still, there is this attitude in America that fat people must be punished, and that somehow I am being “coddled” in my obesity by the government issuing me a permanent parking placard. When I say “physically assaulted”, I mean I had a man shove my wheelchair downhill, barreling towards a wall, because he was *that* frustrated that we needed him to re-park his car so my PCA could get me into the car and the chair into the trunk without damaging *his* car.

    It’s crazy. No one would outright admit that they hate or discriminate against disabled people, but I tell you, since I’ve been in a chair, I’ve seen some of the ugliest behaviors in humankind. I remember pulling up into a fast food joint only to see someone with no tag and no placard purposefully rushing to beat us to the handicap spot. When my PCA got out and asked them if they had a placard, he informed us that he left it at home. She informed him that I had a chair and needed the extra space to transfer out of the car, and he laughed and *jogged* into the restaurant, as if to rub it in our faces that he didn’t have a disability. (We did take down his tag number and report him to the police, not only for the illegal parking, but for harrassing us as well.)

    I wish this app was “real”, in that it was usable by people across the country, because I think the biggest reason that temporarily-abled people (because the longer you live, the more likely it is you will need some assistance in your day to day life) park in these spots is because there is a pretty good chance they won’t get caught. If there was a way to increase that chance, I would hope more people would take this seriously.

  67. by Jane

    On December 15, 2012 at 12:38 am

    I think you should just mind your own business. I think people who get permanent handicaps for being overweight and associated complications is much more of a problem than people who don’t have the signs parking in the spot. Usually, if that happens it is because someone forgot to put their sign out. And true handicap people have enough problems without someone like you calling the cops and making their life harder. I say this as someone in the same position as the 28 year old with rheumatoid arthritis you mention who cannot make it out of the car and into the grocery store because of her condition. I was in a serious car accident where I shattered my left leg, and now have been diagnosed, at age 25, with poly arthritis, and experience pain and swelling in my joints, namely my feet, that is so severe that I cannot function without immunosuppressant medications. And yet I have been accused by medical professionals, and I’m sure bystanders like you, of “faking it”. People like you aggrevate me. Find something productive to occupy your time with rather than worry about what other people are doing. Mind your business!

  68. by Southron_98

    On January 5, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    As a “Wounded Warrior” I hate to tell you most if not all of you are in for a rude awakening the law in the majority of States is only the owner of the
    property can authorize law enforcement to take action. Recently we had a situation where the mgr. of a national chain called the police who issued tickets; the parties insisted on court and brought that very fact the owner of the property was not the one authorizing the action.We also tried having civilians issue tickets again beaten in court as they were not law enforcement, they did that in six States.

    We are now trying to get a program for cars violating the space with a handicap sticker. We have most aren’t aware that the person for whom the pass was issued must be in the car for the vehicle to be allowed in a space. Further you can now buy a pass on Craig’s list also doctors even military can’t say no to issuing passes for anyone requesting a pass for any reason. I have been in my chair and seen a bunch of teenagers driving in their parents cars w/ decal park in the space; then a couple (just from a tennis match) pulled the same stunt. There are exceptions people with hidden defects like heart or lungs. Yes, this is a major problem I/ we have been trying to get it escalated law enforcement agrees it is businesses who are fighting us. Please let us know if you would like to help.

  69. by Tara Lazar

    On February 25, 2013 at 12:25 am

    I have MS and don’t have feeling in my feet and part of my legs; I walk with a cane. Some days I feel good enough to walk a fair distance, other days I struggle to make it 50 feet.

    I was issued a handicapped placard two years ago but wasn’t able to drive until recently, when I finally got hand controls for my van. Since that time, the handicapped parking situation has frustrated me.

    One of my doctors is in a medical building that has only 4 spaces. I’ve yet to get one. My local grocery store’s handicapped spaces are five times farther from the door than regular spots. And don’t get me started on the people who pull into handicapped spaces to wait for someone in the building or talk on their cellphone! ARGH!

  70. by vkelley

    On May 2, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Love it! I’m going to recommend my town start using it.

  71. [...] And the icing on the cake: 20% of the collected fines with the app are given to charities. Check the website of this mother of a kid with disabilities feels about this Share the [...]

  72. by Handicapped Parking |

    On November 13, 2013 at 11:27 am

    [...] parked illegally in handicapped spaces.  I did a bit of Googling, and came across this article: http://www.parents.com/blogs/to-the-max/2011/10/26/autism/a-new-way-to-report-people-who-abuse-handi… that mentioned an app called Parking Mobility that allows users to snap photos of offending [...]

  73. by Disabled Parking Abuse Application | Barrier Free Life

    On November 22, 2013 at 10:12 am

    [...] http://www.parents.com/blogs/to-the-max/2011/10/26/autism/a-new-way-to-report-people-who-abuse-handi… This entry was posted in News by admin. Bookmark the permalink. [...]

  74. by Disabled Parking Abuse Application - ADALawyer.com

    On March 27, 2014 at 8:49 pm