Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Get a Clue

I was thinking about calling this “One Man’s Annoying/Aggravating/Interesting Anecdote” or something like that and start a new blog segment, but I decided “Get a Clue” was much more apropos. The point is that I wanted to pass along a few links to a fascinating handicapped parking story I came across not long ago. Here’s the link to the local news story (“Woman sues over handicap parking ticket”) and here’s the link to a related follow up blog post (“Is This Able-Bodied Woman Entitled to Handicapped Parking?”). I can tell you very quickly that the answer is “no.”

The bottom line is that an able-bodied woman illegally parked her Mercedes SUV in a handicapped parking spot, but the more detailed breakdown is that she parked there because her arm was still in a sling from a recent surgery, the surgery left a “huge scar,” she was still on medication, it was raining hard, and she ran into the store for just a few minutes. She returned to her car to find a $300 parking ticket. Pretty open and closed case—busted, pay the fine, live and learn.

But what makes this story fascinating are the assertions that she made after the fact. Now she admitted that she parked in a handicapped spot on purpose, that she does not possess a disability placard, that she does not have a disability, and that what she did was wrong. Still, given the aforementioned circumstances—the arm sling, the “huge scar,” the sore arm, being on medication, and the “torrential” rains—she asserted that she had a disability “that day” and therefore for her to have parked anywhere but the handicapped spot was “unavoidable.” Given that defense, she argued that the $300 parking fine was way too high, and subsequently went on to sue the town of Danvers, Mass. after the parking clerk refused to dismiss her ticket. The nerve! Ridiculous. I’ll just assume that her case won’t get too far.

Unfortunately, these kinds of “I’ll only park there for a few minutes” sets of circumstances happen all the time, all over the country, every day, and has prevented me from finding a parking spot dozens of times over the years. But this inexplicable set of events is a new one on me.

So with that all I can really say to this lady is, “Here’s a quarter (or 1200 in this case), get a clue!”


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