Handicap Parking: It's For The Handicapped

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Imagine a man on his way home after a long day of work. He wants to make a quick trip to the grocery store to buy a bottle of wine to go with his dinner that is getting cold on the table at home. He pulls into the parking lot, and it is absolutely packed. Amongst the chaos he sees an open spot right next to the entrance, but it has a shiny blue sign with a handicap sticker on it. After a slight hesitation he decides that he might as well just park there. After all, he will only be in the store for a few minutes. But, does that make it okay?

The sad thing is that this particular scenario happens all too often, and is usually “unnoticed” by local law officials. It might not seem like that big of a deal to most people, but for the handicapped one who has to hike across a parking lot because so many people are too lazy and inconsiderate to look for another spot, it is a big deal. That is why the fines that are so lightly placed on parking illegally in a handicap spot should be raised. Not only would it make someone think twice about parking in that spot, but it will help to raise awareness of the growing and thriving handicap population.

There are more than 300 million people living in the United States today. More than 40 million American citizens are disabled, and more 1 million of those use mobility devices. If people knew of statistics like these, a symbol on a license plate might be a little more obvious. A raise in illegal parking fines would help to open up the hearts and minds of able-bodied people. It would make them more sensitive to the fact that there are other people in the world and that they have needs too. People tend to be very narrow-minded in that respect.

If a raise in the fines for handicap parking did nothing more for the mass population than helping individuals to maintain good economic standing, that in itself would be a very positive attribute to this change. For the drivers who choose to be responsible and follow the law, they will save money. Those who are not so wise will end up paying for it. Either way it would help the economy. As a result, maybe those who are still ignorant to the cause would be willing to pay more attention, even if it was only for the sake of their own wallet.
Another very important reason for this change is to remind the ones who are a part of the handicap community that even though there might be a lot of things that they are not able to do or that they have to do differently they can still be a productive working member of society. A vast majority of handicap people are still able to lead perfectly normal, happy, healthy lives. They go to school, hold down jobs, and have families just like non-disabled people do. Unfortunately it has not always been so easy for them. As far back in history as the Holocaust disabled people have been oppressed and even murdered simply because they are different. Only a handful of brave people who were willing to speak out against such injustice were able to make a change. They helped to gain and keep the rights and privileges that disabled people have today. It would shame them if they knew of the regression of respect that they worked so very hard for.
It is common knowledge that people with disabilities nowadays have not only lived but thrived. There is definitely a sense of understood pride in people of the disabled community. To have overcome so many obstacles over time is quite the accomplishment, but it was only possible through certain accommodations given to handicap people, such as the parking spot. That is the very small, yet important aspect in the daily lives of disabled that allows them to go out into the world and be the very best they can be. To this day, handicap people are continuing to overcome, and we should do our part by raising parking fines and being a part of the change!





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